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Tobacco Policy

Salem State University- Athletic Department

Tobacco Policy

NCAA Bylaw 11.1.7: states that the use of tobacco products is prohibited by all game personnel (e.g. coaches, athletic trainers’, managers, and game officials) in all sports during practice and competition. 

MASCAC Institutions policy (Under the Administrative Manual, Section H (General Policies), #10 (Tobacco Ban): states that:
a. Use of tobacco during MASCAC practices or competitions is prohibited.
b. Any staff member witnessing use of tobacco should provide a written report directly to their athletic director who will notify, in writing to the athletic director at the violators institution (if a visiting team member).
c. Sanctions for said violation shall rest with the athletic director at the particular institution.

Uniform penalties/sanctions shall be established for violations of this policy. Every coach, athletic department member and all student-athletes are obligated to inform the Director of Athletics when any member of the athletic department team has information that the tobacco policy has been violated. This policy applies to all Salem State athletes, coaches and game personnel as well as any of these same representatives from athletic teams visiting Salem State.

The Salem State University Athletic Department also prohibits the use of tobacco products in connection with any official intercollegiate team function. An official team function for purpose of this policy is defined as any activity which is held at the direction of or under the supervision of the team’s coaching staff. These activities include but are not limited to practices, games, field or gym maintenance, work study, concessions, team meetings, and travel in Salem State’s vehicles. You will be in violation of this policy from the moment you enter college property to engage in an official team function.

Finally, the Athletic Department prohibits the purchase of tobacco products to be used by any department affiliated person who is under the legal age to purchase tobacco products. This applies to prospective student-athletes while visiting the University and their student hosts. Regardless of whether a student-athlete or student host has reached the legal age to purchase tobacco (a teammate, or in most cases, a prospective student-athlete) is a violation of state law.

Tobacco Policy p. 2

Because of health risks, rules, and legal implications associated with tobacco use, the following instances will be considered a positive tobacco test by the Salem State University Athletic Department.
Use of tobacco products (smoking and smokeless) during any of the following will be punishable:
• At the O’Keefe Athletic Complex including practices, games, field
maintenance, concessions, or work-study. Once you enter the parking 
lot, you are considered to be at the complex.
• At the Central Campus Athletic facilities (Baseball field, tennis courts), or
any parts thereof.
• Any other off-campus facilities utilized by Salem State University Athletic
• Official team meetings.
• Travel in Salem State University vehicles.

Any athletic related personnel (including any member of the coaching staff, Athletic Director, Athletic Trainers, Faculty Athletic Representative) have the authority to initiate the First Offense of sanctions without the approval of the coach.

If the policy is violated by a member of an opposing athletic team, Salem State’s Athletic Director or Associate Athletic Director should be notified as soon as appropriate. Information the athletic director needs:
1. Student-Athlete’s name
2. Student-Athlete’s sport
3. Name of the institution the student-athlete represents.

It is the Athletic Directors responsibility to notify the appropriate athletic director. 

A. First Offense
The first offense will be defined as the first time you are caught using tobacco or an admission of guilt from the listed above. As a result of the findings:
• The offender will be dismissed immediately from the practice, game
or event in which tobacco is being used and be suspended for the next
scheduled competition. 

Tobacco Policy p 3 

B. Second Offense
The second offense will be defined as the next time you are caught using tobacco or an admission of guilt from the listed above. As a result of these findings:
• The offender will be suspended from team competition for the 
remainder of the University’s academic year. If the athlete is a 
member of more than one team, they are suspended for the 
subsequent sports as well. The athlete may have the opportunity to 
return the following year.
• The student will be expected to meet with the Athletic Training 
services staff to discuss intervention strategies and cessation options.


Salem State University Department of Athletics does not condone the irresponsible use of any forms of tobacco. The two most common ways to use tobacco are smoking and smokeless tobacco (spit tobacco). The negative physical and mental effects of the use of tobacco are well documented. Smoking seriously affects athletic performance. Smoking is associated with as many as 4,700 different chemicals, many which are toxic. The most toxic of those is nicotine, which is an addictive drug. Nicotine, when entered into the body, causes blood pressure elevation, increased bowel activity, acts as an antidiuretic, and constricts blood vessels which may cause dizziness. Smoking reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. There is an increase in carbon monoxide in the blood which reduces the ability of the red blood cells to deliver a sufficient amount of oxygen to the body’s tissues. Total lung capacity and maximum breathing capacity are significantly reduced which impairs the capacity to take in oxygen for use during physical activity. There is an increased risk of heart disease, arteriosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, lung cancer (carcinogens in cigarette smoke), bronchitis, emphysema, sinusitis, ulcers, and cancer of the bladder, kidneys, larynx, oral cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

Smokeless tobacco may lead to cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, cheek, throat, face, stomach, and bladder. Precancerous patches (leukoplakia) may form in the mouth. There is an increased risk for heart disease, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats. 

Oral hygiene will suffer from use of smokeless tobacco. Some of the more common problems are tooth abrasion, gum recession, increased tooth decay, tooth discoloration and bad breath.

Tobacco Policy p 4

Therefore, it is the responsibility of every member of the University community to know the risks associated with tobacco use. This responsibility obligates students and employees to know relevant University policies and federal, state, and local laws and to conduct themselves in accordance with these law policies.

Photo’s from smokeless tobacco use

College Tobacco Prevention Resource
American Cancer Society
Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Oral Cancer Foundation

Position Statements:
American College Health Association

Position Statements:
American Lung Association

** Created 8/10 CLM//TS ** Updated 1/11 CLM//TS