16.63 – Smoking and Tobacco Use Restrictions

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 16 | Safety and Risk Management

Responsible Executive: Vice President Administration and Finance

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 03/13/2018



Revision History:

03/13/2018 Amendment approved by Chancellor
2017 Recompilation, formerly 3.98 - Smoking Rule
10/21/2015 Board of Regents approved replication of Policy 3.98, Smoking Policy as initial Rule 3.98
09/08/2006 Amendment ratified by Board of Regents
05/09/2006 Amendment approved by Administrative Council


This rule promotes the health, wellness and safety of its employees, students and visitors, while respecting individual choice, consistent with the New Mexico Clean Indoor Air Act (NMSA 1978 §§ 24-16 – 1 et seq).  Smoking, for purposes of this rule, means inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying or holding any lighted tobacco product, including all types of cigarettes, cigars and pipes, as well as electronic cigarettes and similar products which release ultrafine particulates and nicotine with exhaled vapor.



  1. Smoking is prohibited in the following locations:
    1. University owned and operated buildings and facilities including classrooms and laboratories, offices, campus housing units, food service venues, restrooms, and all venues for university sponsored athletic and other special events;
    2. Near public entrances and exits, open windows and ventilation systems of the buildings and facilities where smoking is prohibited. “Near” will be applied to mean a distance of 25 feet; however, if this distance presents cause for concern as applied, the issue will be resolved in favor of a distance that is sufficient to ensure that persons entering or leaving the building or facility are not subjected to breathing smoke and to ensure that smoke does not enter the building or facility through entrances, windows, ventilations systems or other means.
    3. Partially or fully enclosed walkways, corridors, elevators;
    4. Vehicles owned, leased or rented by the university;
    5. Within 50 feet of any area where flammable materials are handled or stored, or where other significant fire hazard may exist;
    6. Outdoor areas designated as “No Smoking” areas; and
    7. Outdoor areas during NMSU sponsored events.
  2. Signage will be posted at the public entrances of buildings to clearly and conspicuously indicate that smoking is prohibited inside the building and within 25 feet of the entrance.



Smoking is permitted outdoors on university property except as specifically prohibited above.



Anyone who smokes or uses smokeless tobacco on campus or other property owned and operated by NMSU must discard the waste in a safe and sanitary manner.



Retaliation in any form against persons who exercise their rights afforded by this rule or by state law is strictly prohibited.  Complaints of retaliation will be investigated, and if substantiated will be grounds for employee or student discipline in accordance with university policies, rules and procedures.  Complaints of retaliation should be filed in accordance with university rules and procedures.



Complaints and concerns regarding alleged violations of this rule are taken seriously. The following steps will be taken to address complaints:

  1. Complaints or concerns about the application or enforcement of this rule should be referred first to any supervisor in the affected building or facility for an informal and prompt resolution, which may simply involve an informal warning that the individual’s activities are in violation of this rule and state law and what action they should take to be in compliance.
  2. If the person in receipt of a complaint or concern is not able to informally resolve the matter, the matter may be referred to the appropriate supervisor (if the violator is an employee) and to the dean of students (if the violator is a student). In all cases, a complainant should be informed of the option of filing a formal complaint with Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management.
  3. In response to a formal complaint that an employee or a student has violated this rule, the supervisor or Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management will coordinate an investigation and resolution, including mediation or potential disciplinary action, with the Dean of Students (for students) or the Director of HRS-Employee and Labor Relations (for employees).
  4. Individuals who refuse to comply with this rule must be informed that they are in violation of not only university rules, but also state law, which has monetary penalties for violators.