In early February, UT revealed that the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas would no longer fund University research without a campus-wide tobacco ban—and that officials had only until March 1 to make a decision.
That deadline has come and gone, but according to UT spokeswoman Adrienne Howarth-Moore, the University is close to submitting a proposal draft to the UT System Board of Regents for approval. Once in their hands, it’s unclear how long it will take for a decision to be made.
The current funding from CPRIT, around $30 million, is safe until August, regardless of whether the ban passes. However, UT researchers are unable to apply for new grants—$88 million worth—until the Forty Acres goes tobacco-free.
Howarth-Moore is optimistic about the timeline, citing the fact that UT System campuses such as UT-MD Anderson, UT-Brownsville, and UT-Arlington already have similar policies in place. This precedent, she hopes, will help speed the process along.
Currently, UT has a no-smoking policy that bars smoking within 20 feet of a building entrance, window, or walkway. CPRIT’s new guidelines require the elimination of chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and hookah near the buildings where cancer research is conducted.
As for the solution that the current draft actually proposes, Howarth-Moore stayed mum, saying only: “We are so close to being able to share it with the campus community.”
Photo courtesy Flickr user incurable_hippie.