Amherst College: Smoking Policy

April 2021


The purpose of the Amherst College No Smoking Policy is to limit the potential exposure of faculty, staff, students and visitors to the effects of second-hand smoke and reduce the risk of fire on campus. Please refer to the Town of Amherst Regulations Prohibiting Tabacco Smoking in Public Places and Places of Employment. 


The policy shall apply to the entire campus community in or within close proximity to buildings, including residential halls and student housing, exterior areas used as assembly points, as well as in Amherst College vehicles. It shall be enforced for health and safety reasons and for the prevention of fire. Guests' and visitors shall be made aware of the policies and procedures by the faculty, staff and students, when applicable.


It is the responsibility of employees and faculty with supervisory positions to enforce the No Smoking Policy in and around their respective buildings, as well as in Amherst College vehicles. The Office of Human Resources can assist department heads with issues related to personnel, and Environmental Health and Safety is available to answer questions regarding the health, fire safety and protection of the environment.


In accordance with the requirements of the State Building Code and Fire Prevention Regulations and the policies of the Town of Amherst, smoking is not permitted in schools, colleges, universities or public buildings. In addition, smoking is prohibited in areas of assembly, around flammable liquids and gases, and in other areas so designated as “No-Smoking” for reasons of fire prevention, health and safety.


Medical Marijuana: The Massachusetts Act (Chapter 369) Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana Section 7(D) specifies that no accommodations have to be made in places of employment, school grounds, or any public space.

Smoking is the burning, lighting or use of a tobacco product and any other smoking device or equipment that includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), hookahs, marijuana and pipes.

Smoking Areas

Smoking shall be permitted outside of buildings, at a distance of not less than 25'.

This requirement prevents the migration of tobacco smoke into air intakes, assembly areas, building overhangs, entrances, exits, loading docks, porches, and other areas where non-smokers would have to pass.

Supervisory Responsibilities

All employees and faculty with supervisory responsibilities shall address smoking-related concerns and issues within their respective departments, and shall enforce all of the requirements here-in. When necessary, the Office of Human Resources is available to assist the employees and supervisors with personnel and policy concerns, which includes the smoking policy.

Smoking Breaks

Smoking shall be permitted at designated break times only. Supervisors should limit these breaks to three.

Department Head Responsibilities

  • Department heads should make reasonable accommodations for smokers, such as allowing them to smoke in their personal vehicles during inclement weather.
  • The respective department head or their designee shall handle issues related to smoking. The Office of Human Resources is available to assist the department head and/or smoker, when necessary.

No Smoking Signage

No Smoking signage can be posted on buildings at locations where smoking is not otherwise controlled. No Smoking signage is available upon request through the Facilities Department, at the request of the department head.

Smoking Receptacle

Approved smoking receptacles will be provided by the Facilities Department. These receptacles must be placed at least 25' from the building and away from all air intake systems to prevent the migration of smoke into the building and to prevent unwanted exposure to second-hand smoke. The receptacles must be visible to potential users on the way to the building, to allow for proper disposal of smoking materials

Smoking receptacles shall also be made available on construction sites. It shall be the responsibility of the general contractor to provide a suitable, fire-resistant container, filled with sand

Residence Halls

Smoking is no longer permitted in any area of a residence hall, including individual student rooms. Smoking is considered to be a recognized health concern, as well as a fire hazard. Smoking in or within 25' of a residence hall carries a fine of up to $100.00, in addition to the cost of any damage caused by same.

Amherst College Vehicles

Smoking is strictly prohibited in all vehicles owned and/or operated by Amherst College.

Smoking Cessation Programs

Amherst College, through the Department of Human Resources, has identified smoking cessation programs through our insurance companies, effective June 01, 2002. Faculty and staff should, if they so desire, contact Human Resources to get all appropriate information entitled to them as part of their employee benefits, or contact the Faculty, Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst at 545-0350 to get additional information on smoking cessation programs in the area.

Amherst College strives to create a work atmosphere that is as free from recognized hazards as possible. Issues affecting the health, safety and the well being of our faculty, staff, students and their guests are paramount. Because the college recognizes the hazards associated with second-hand smoke, it will assist as is practical with the elimination of the hazard for the non-smoker and provide suitable alternatives for those who wish to continue smoking, or would like to quit. It is not in the best interests of the college or the employee to encourage cigarette, cigar, pipe or other types of smoking by creating smoking areas inside or in close proximity to the building. Amherst College will continue to support a healthy and safe working environment for the entire campus community.