Tobacco Officially Banned at UT; Student Reaction Mixed

 

It’s official: UT-Austin is kicking the habit with a campus-wide tobacco ban.

In early February, UT revealed that the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas would no longer fund University research without a campus-wide tobacco ban—which would have meant a loss of $30 million in funding, plus $88 million in potential grants.

The University’s answer: a tobacco-free policy that affects all University buildings and grounds, including parking areas, sidewalks, and walkways. The UT System approved UT-Austin’s proposal, making the ban effective April 9. Banned items include cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, and chewing tobacco.

To ease the transition, the University has set up 15 temporary tobacco use locations on the main campus, in addition to four on the Pickle Research Campus, that will be available to students, faculty, and staff until March 1, 2013. UT also plans to amp up tobacco cessation support services in the coming months.

According to a University press release, enforcement of  this new ban will come “primarily through education, awareness, and spirit of cooperation.” (Meaning a campus smoker won’t get ticketed by UTPD for lighting up on the Forty Acres.)

Instead, policy violations can be reported to a University department: the Office of the Dean of Students for students, a college dean or department chair for faculty members, and Human Resource Services for staff. There, the violator will work on “brainstorming and problem-solving to figure out how to become compliant,” says director of Human Resource Services Adrienne Howarth-Moore.

For more information, check out the University’s new web page dedicated to the policy.

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here. Photos by Jeff Heimsath. Photos

 

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