Harvard Bans Smoking in Harvard Yard

Discouraging the use of e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco are part of the new campus rules and regulations.

Harvard University is usually hailed as an innovative trend-setting Ivy League school, but when it comes to the recently implemented no-smoking ban on their property, they’re merely following in the footsteps of other area institutes.

In August, Harvard announced that they would be enforcing a ban on smoking—e-cigarettes included—in the historic, tourist-attracting Harvard Yard. The news follows years worth of research headed by student activists who examined the impact smoking has in public settings like the school’s main campus, according to The Crimson.

The new “Tobacco Free” zone, which is marked by double-sided signs standing outside of the yard’s main gates (biking through is also prohibited) went into effect last month, but the impact of the ban will be more prominent now that students have flocked back to the campus, and more family and friends will be visiting regularly.

According to details, which were posted on the Harvard University Health Services website, all tobacco-based products fall under the umbrella of the new regulations, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, hookahs, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products.

“We ask that you do not use any of these products while in Harvard Yard,” officials said in a statement about the ban. The rule will be enforced by Harvard University Police and other security detail officers.

People will have to leave the yard entirely if they want to light up, because there will be no “designated tobacco-use area” within the gates, the school said.

The school said research has shown that creating a tobacco-free environment can lead to a “significant reduction” in the number of people who smoke, the amount of tobacco products consumed, and the number of people who are exposed to products.

“Harvard University cares deeply about the health and wellness of all of those who pass through its gates. It is important to us to be able to ensure a safe, healthy environment for people to walk, study, be active, engage with each other, and visit our beautiful university,” health officials said.

This new regulation in Harvard Yard falls in line with other parts of the campus that have already put a stop to smoking on school grounds, including the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

It also follows smoking bans put in place by other universities in the Boston area, including Northeastern, which announced their efforts to curb the tobacco-consuming habits of those who pass through their property in 2013.