Tobacco Use Policy

A Smoke-Free Campus

Dana-Farber's Policy on Smoking and Tobacco Use

A healthy and safe campus is important to all of us at Dana-Farber. As a research and health care institution committed to finding ways to prevent and treat cancer and related diseases, and because smoking and the use of tobacco products is a major preventable cause of disease and cancer death in this country, we updated our policy on tobacco use.

On Feb. 1, 2009, the Institute became completely smoke-free, inside and out.

This means that staff, contract workers, students, volunteers, patients and families, and visitors are now asked to refrain from using tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chew, and pipes) on all property owned and/or operated by Dana-Farber.

I realize that this policy may be difficult for people who smoke.We have no intention of forcing anyone to stop smoking.

For those who choose to continue smoking, and for those who have difficulty quitting, we simply ask that you smoke outdoors in a manner that does not affect others and complies with this policy.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Tobacco-Free Environment Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish a healthful, tobacco-free environment for all patients, volunteers, students, visitors, contractors, and staff members at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). This applies to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chew and pipes.

As a research and health care institution, DFCI is committed to finding ways to prevent and treat cancer and related diseases. Since smoking and the use of tobacco products has been identified as a major preventable cause of disease and cancer death in this country, Dana-Farber will set an example of wellness and prevention for our staff, patients, and the community.


This Policy applies to all staff, contract workers, students, volunteers, patients and families, and visitors; anyone who is on to Dana-Farber owned, operated, and/or leased property.


  1. General
    1. No tobacco use is allowed anywhere inside any DFCI-owned, operated and/or leased facility or motor vehicle.
    2. No tobacco use is allowed anywhere on the grounds of any owned office, building, structure, or facility, including, but not limited to entry areas, parking lots, grassed areas, sidewalks, and docks.
    3. No one in the employ of or volunteering at DFCI while representing DFCI in public (i.e., wearing an identification badge or uniform) may use tobacco products.
    4. No tobacco use is allowed during a DFCI-sponsored event or in a DFCI mobile unit.
  2. Enforcement
    1. Security is responsible for assuring compliance with this policy, and problems regarding compliance are referred to them.
    2. Signs indicating that DFCI is "Tobacco Free" are posted throughout all buildings and grounds.
    3. Managers are expected to enforce this policy with their employees.
    4. Employees/Volunteers
      1. Applicants/Employees/Volunteers are made aware of this policy at the time of their employment offer and during new employee or volunteer orientation.
      2. Employees who knowingly violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action per the Human Resources Corrective Action Policy 2.17, up to and including termination.
    5. Contractors and Vendors
      1. All contractors and vendors visiting or working at DFCI must comply with this policy.
      2. Purchasing is responsible for ensuring that all contractors and vendors are made aware of DFCI's Tobacco Free policy through their annual contracts and/or Requests for Proposals
    6. Patients and Visitors
      1. During the continuum of care, the patient and family members are informed of this policy.
      2. If patients or visitors refuse to cooperate with this policy, Security is contacted for follow-up.
  3. Tobacco Cessation Opportunities
    1. Dana-Farber encourages all employees not to use tobacco, and encourages those who do to stop.
    2. In support of this policy, the Institute provides 100 percent reimbursement for the cost of any reasonable tobacco cessation program. This benefit is offered to all staff members including fellows and individuals on training stipends, and subcontractees.
      1. Applications must be submitted for approval prior to the starting date of the class. Applications must be signed by the staff member and forwarded to Human Resources. Human Resources will return a copy of the approved application form to the applicant. It is important to note that reimbursement will not be considered or granted if prior application has not been made.
      2. The amount of reimbursement will be 100 cent of the cost of the course not to exceed $500 per course/treatment. The costs covered include tuition for the program and the cost of stop-smoking products provided by the DFCI Pharmacy, but does not cover supplemental books, equipment, and supplies.
      3. After successful completion of the course, the applicant must send to Human Resources (copies, no originals please) the following:
        • Evidence of tuition cost, payment receipt, or canceled check
        • Certificate of attendance.
    3. Dana-Farber's Eleanor and Maxwell Blum Resource Center provides self-help materials and tobacco-cessation information for patients, family members, and employees who want to quit. For more information, call 617-632-5570 or visit the Blum Center on the first floor of Dana-Farber's Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. 
    4. For further information about these services, please contact the Director of Patient and Family Education or the Department of Human Resources.

Why Should You Quit Smoking? Benefits to Your Body

Benefits Over Time

  • Twenty minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • Twelve hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • Two weeks to three months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • One to nine months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • One year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
  • Five years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker five to 15 years after quitting.
  • Ten years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease, too.
  • Fifteen years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's.

Immediate Rewards

  • Your breath smells better
  • Stained teeth get whiter
  • No more bad-smelling clothes and hair
  • No more yellow fingers and fingernails
  • Food tastes better
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal
  • Everyday activities (climbing stairs, light housework) no longer leave you out of breath

How to Prepare for a Successful Quit Day

  • Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
  • Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.
  • Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
  • Stock up on oral substitutes: sugarless gum, carrot sticks, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, toothpicks.
  • Decide on a plan. Will you use nicotine replacement therapy or other medicines? Will you attend a stop-smoking class? If so, sign up now.
  • Practice saying, "No thank you, I don't smoke."
  • Set up a support system. This could be a group class, Nicotine Anonymous, or a friend or family member who has successfully quit and is willing to help you. Ask family and friends who still smoke not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
  • Think back to your past attempts to quit. Try to figure out what worked and what did not work for you.

Find more information about getting ready to quit smoking from the American Cancer Society.

The BWH Smoking Cessation Program

Brigham and Women's Hospital currently offers an eight-week course to help you quit. Learn more about their Smoking Cessation Program or call 617-732-9694.

Maps of Dana-Farber's Smoke-Free Areas

If you wish to smoke, you must do so off Dana-Farber owned, operated, and/or leased property.

Smoke-Free Areas at Dana-Farber's Longwood Campus

This map shows where smoking is not permitted around the Dana, Smith, Shields Warren, Mayer, and Jimmy Fund buildings, as well as the new Yawkey Center.

Smoke-Free Areas at Dana-Farber's Satellite Offices and Clinics

This map includes smoke-free zones at Dana-Farber's other Boston locations, and at the clinics at Faulkner Hospital, Milford Regional Medical Center, and Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology.