Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Human Resources


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Smoking (and Vaping) Policy

SLT 4.6

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Procedures

Policy Statement

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Surgeon General Report of 2006 indicates that secondhand smoke is an avoidable cause of disease and death. Exposure to second hand smoke, even for a short time, results in adverse affects to the cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease and lung cancer. The report concludes that second hand smoke can cause disease and premature death in individuals who do not smoke. Reducing and eliminating opportunities for exposure to second hand smoke protects the overall health of non-smokers. By enacting this policy, Grand Valley State University is taking action to minimize the harmful effects and discomfort which smoking produces for the benefit of all members of the University Community. During the interim until further study and review can be concluded, for purposes of this policy, the use of electronic cigarettes (vaping) shall follow this policy to the same extent as smoking a tobacco product. 


All buildings at all GVSU owned or controlled locations are designated as smoke free. Smoking is prohibited in all indoor spaces; including, but not limited to, educational, housing and dining locations.

Smoking is prohibited within twenty-five (25) feet of any GVSU building, within twenty-five feet of any GVSU bus stop on University property and within twenty-five feet of the Little Mac Bridge on the Allendale campus.

Smoking is prohibited in all University owned, leased or rented vehicles.

At all Intercollegiate Athletic facilities and at The Meadows Golf Club smoking is permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas only.

Smokers must cease smoking prior to entering any prohibited smoking area; twenty-five feet from any building, bus stop and bridge.

While GVSU permits smoking in areas not designated to be smoke free, it is the responsibility of smokers to be respectful of non-smokers in choosing a location in which to smoke so as to minimize non-smokers’ contact with second-hand smoke.

Smokers are responsible for properly disposing of all smoking related litter, which includes cigarette and cigar butts, tobacco, etc. Disposal of any smoking litter is not permitted on University grounds except in the provided ash receptacles.

If University facilities are rented by non-University individuals or groups, they shall be notified of and required to comply with this policy.

As the University acquires space or constructs new buildings or additions, smoking shall not be permitted in these buildings or areas. The above twenty-five foot distance from any building will be maintained at all new facilities.

GVSU recognizes that smoking is highly addictive. Smokers interested in assistance with quitting smoking should contact the appropriate office to learn about smoking cessation options and support. Students should contact the Campus Recreation Fitness and Wellness Office and faculty and staff members should contact Human Resources at 331-2215.

Policy Enforcement

This policy assumes that with notice to our community individuals will voluntarily adhere to these regulations and enforcement will not be needed. If smoking is observed in violation of this policy the appropriate action to take is to:

  • Politely ask the person who is smoking either to stop smoking or to move to a designated smoking area, outside of the twenty-five foot perimeter of the building, bus stop or bridge.
  • Should the problem persist, request the person’s name and status at Grand Valley (student, faculty, staff member or visitor). If the person refuses to identify themself, on the Allendale campus contact the Department of Public Safety Services at (616) 331-3255 or on the Pew Campus or other campuses contact Pew Campus Security at (616) 331-6677 for assistance.
  • If the person violating this policy is a student, a complaint may be filed with the Dean of Students' Office, (616) 331-3585, which shall take appropriate action.
  • If the person is a faculty or staff member, a complaint may be filed with that person's dean, unit head or supervisor who shall act pursuant to the appropriate personnel policies.
  • If the person is a visitor, a complaint may be filed with the Department of Public Safety on the Allendale campus or with Pew Campus Security for the Pew Campus and regional campuses who will take appropriate action.