Office of the President

January 22, 2020

Dear William Paterson Community:

As part of our commitment to creating a healthy living and working environment, William Paterson University is adopting a new policy to become tobacco and smoke-free on all property, including buildings and structures, grounds, wooded areas, parking structures, enclosed bridges and walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots owned and leased by WP, beginning January 1, 2022.

This decision was made after considerable study and engagement with student groups, faculty, and staff. In taking this important step, WP will be joining many other colleges and universities across the country that have adopted tobacco and smoke-free policies. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. This new policy reflects our commitment to the health of every person who studies or works in our community.

Current state law and University policy prohibit smoking, and/or the use of tobacco, vapor, or similar products* inside any campus building. Additionally, consuming – including by smoking, vaping, or aerosolizing – any cannabis item is prohibited in any building, on the grounds of, or in any facility owned, leased, or controlled by any institution of higher education in New Jersey.
A one-year plan for a phased elimination of the use of tobacco products on campus will be implemented as follows:

  • As of this notice, use of tobacco products is restricted to 14 on-campus designated smoking areas which are located at least 25 feet from all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. (click here to view a map of designated smoking areas).
  • Permissible outdoor areas will be clearly marked and designated as such. Smoking, use of tobacco, tobacco products, or vapor equipment will be prohibited outside of these areas.
  • We will implement the policy over one year (2021) in order to allow sufficient time and opportunity for members of our community to seek support and treatment to stop smoking. 
  • A number of programs already in place to support and encourage tobacco cessation for members of our community are listed below.
  • The campus will become 100% smoke, tobacco, and vapor product free on January 1, 2022.

This plan will require the commitment of all members of the University. We recognize that this will be a difficult transition for many individuals. We trust that tobacco/vapor product users will be cooperative with this plan and that non-tobacco users will encourage, support, and help them locate designated smoking areas, when necessary. We all benefit from a campus community that is healthy in all its many forms. This plan enables us to take the steps necessary to help achieve that goal. We look forward to a healthy campus environment for all.

Additional details and resources will be distributed in the coming months to support our transition to a tobacco and smoke-free campus. You will also be able to find more information on the WP Tobacco-free website.

Thank you for helping to build a healthier William Paterson University.


Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.

Tobacco – Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, electronic vapor products (such as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-hookahs, e-pipes, vape pens, hookah pens, and personal vaporizers/mods), little cigars, cigarillos, and filtered cigars; traditional cigars or large (premium) cigars, hookah, chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip; snus, and dissolvable tobacco (sticks, strips, orbs). A tobacco product excludes any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale as a tobacco cessation product, as a tobacco dependence product, or for other medical purposes, and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.

Tobacco-Cessation services:

1.     Hackensack Meridian Health Quit Center – Free tobacco cessation program for WPUNJ students, staff and faculty. To speak with a tobacco treatment specialist call 551-996-1632, text 201-655-1024, or email: [email protected]
2.    For a smoking cessation program specifically designed for Latino students, staff, and faculty, and services in Spanish, see
3.    New Jersey Quitline at 1-866-NJ-STOPS for students, staff, and faculty
4.    Higher Ed EAP  for Tobacco Cessation Coaching for staff and faculty, call 1-800-252-4555 or 1-800-225-2527 between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Standard Time. 
5.    For students, for smoking cessation evaluation and counseling, call Counseling, Health & Wellness for an appointment at (973-720-2257 or see their webpage for more information about these services:

Office of the President | 973.720.2222 | [email protected]