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Thelawman2
Thelawman2, Attorney
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Experience:  Attorney-at-Law
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I am wondering if it is legal for Washington State University

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I am wondering if it is legal for Washington State University to prohibit tobacco use on campus. This seems to conflict with RCW 70.160.075. Not only have they prohibited tobacco use but also the use of e-cigarettes which are not tobacco products. Is this legal?

Thelawman2 :

While RCW 70.160.075 prohibits smoking within 20 feet of certain building openings, it does not mean that WSU cannot extend the prohibition to other areas of the campus.

Thelawman2 :

*25 feet

Thelawman2 :

In fact, RCW 70.160.030 prohibits smoking in public places, and public places is defined to include schools and education faclities.

Thelawman2 :

The laws of Washington have a strong dislike of smoking, as seen in the following statutory language:

Thelawman2 :

70.160.011. Findings--Intent--2006 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 901)



The people of the state of Washington recognize that exposure to secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer in humans. Secondhand smoke is a known cause of other diseases including pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and heart disease. Citizens are often exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace, and are likely to develop chronic, potentially fatal diseases as a result of such exposure. In order to protect the health and welfare of all citizens, including workers in their places of employment, it is necessary to prohibit smoking in public places and workplaces.
Customer:

Can they prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes which produce no second hand effects?

Thelawman2 :

It seems that the definition of Smoking in the Washington statute is broad enough to encompass e-cigarettes: “Smoke” or “smoking” means the carrying or smoking of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, or any other lighted smoking equipment.

Thelawman2 :

It doesn't say that smoke has to be emitted, just that it is smoked and it is a type of smoking device

Thelawman2 :

Your best bet to get this changed is to talk to the heads of the WSU to argue that e-cigarettes should be treated different, but it is within their discretion to prohibit it

Customer:

ok thank you for your help

Thelawman2 :

You are welcome, please remember to provide positive feedback

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