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Harper College

FAQs about Harper's Smoke-Free Campus

We'd like to thank the campus community for submitting their questions. Have a question? You can submit your question about the smoke-free policy here.

Smoking of any kind has been prohibited in or on College property, facilities or College-owned vehicles as of January 1, 2015. See the full policy. 

Illinois passed the Smoke-Free Campus Act prohibiting smoking on each campus of a State-supported institution of higher education beginning July 2015. As such, the College's policy is in compliance with the state law and demonstrates the College's commitment to providing a healthy learning environment for students and a healthy work environment for faculty and staff.

No. The College policy does not require people who smoke to quit smoking, but rather to refrain from smoking while on campus. The policy does not regulate personal choice regarding smoking while off-campus.

Smoking (burning, inhaling or exhaling) includes:

  • Pipes
  • Cigars
  • Cigarettes
  • Hookahs
  • Herbs
  • Weed
  • E-cigarettes
  • Any other lighted smoking equipment

Both the College policy and the Illinois state law prohibit the use of e-cigarettes. The Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act prohibits the use of products containing or delivering nicotine intended or expected for human consumption, with limited exception for tobacco use cessation or medical purposes as approved by the FDA . Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine derived from tobacco, and have not been approved by the FDA. While they are not lighted in the combustible way that a traditional tobacco filled cigar or cigarette is, there is a heating mechanism inside that turns liquid nicotine into a vapor to be inhaled.

We collectively share the responsibility of enforcing the policy by respectfully letting others know about our Smoke-Free Campus.

We all have a role in helping people comply. If you see someone smoking, please politely and respectfully let him/her know Harper is a smoke-free campus. If someone is hostile with you, do not escalate the situation. Simply walk away and contact Harper Police, at 847.925.6330, to inform them of the hostility.

Approach them respectfully and make them aware of the policy. If you need assistance in how to have this conversation, see the Conversation Toolkit. For repeat violators, in the case of:
a student, contact Student Conduct
an employee, contact Employee Relations Manager
a visitor, contact Harper Police, 847.925.6330

Violations of the Smoke-Free Campus policy will be treated like violations of any other campus policy. Student violations follow the student conduct process. Employee violations follow the disciplinary process used for similar policy violations. Visitors will be asked to refrain from smoking and, if they do not comply, may be asked to leave the campus.

There is no fundamental, constitutional right to smoke cigarettes; Illinois law prohibits smoking at all state-supported colleges (Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act 098-0985). Harper’s policy does not require anyone to quit smoking, but rather to refrain from smoking on campus. The Public Health Law Center has a publication that explains this position in more detail.

Smoking is prohibited on campus (buildings, parking lots, green areas, sidewalks, etc.) with the following exception: Smoking while in a personal vehicle is not a violation of the policy as long as it does not impact others. Cigarette butts and smoking materials must be disposed of properly.

The state of Illinois passed a law (Smoke-Free Campus Act 098-0985) requiring all state-supported colleges and universities to go smoke-free in 2015.

We use a multi-faceted communication strategy.

We have a “Welcome to our Smoke-Free Campus” section on our website that provides information about the smoke-free policy, smoking management and cessation, how to have conversations about the policy, answers to frequently asked questions and the opportunity to submit questions.

Signage/Printed Materials:
-Signs describing the policy are posted throughout campus.
-Conversation cards are provided to support individual conversations about the policy.

-Periodic communications are made via Harper’s website, student email and student portal, employee e-newsletter and intranet, social media and the Algonquin Road Marquee sign.
-Contracts with outside organizations note the smoke-free policy.
-Vendors are notified of the policy.

Harper’s policy is a smoke-free policy, not a tobacco-free policy. However, Harper prohibits chewing tobacco in campus buildings. Chewing tobacco may be used outdoors, so long as the tobacco and any by-products are disposed of properly. Spitting of tobacco juice is prohibited. Violators are subject to disciplinary action according to campus guidelines.

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Last Updated: 12/14/23