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Why is UT Dallas adopting a Tobacco Free Building Policy?
On Jan. 18, 2012, the Oversight Committee of the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) approved a rule mandating that all organizations receiving CPRIT funding in excess of $25,000 must certify that they have adopted and enforced a tobacco free policy in facilities housing CPRIT-funded research. Three UT Dallas faculty members currently are recipients of CPRIT funding. In general, the University considers research in the field of cancer prevention pivotal to its mission of academic excellence.
What is CPRIT?
Created in 2007, the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is a state-funded agency charged with increasing innovation in the field of cancer research and expanding access to cancer prevention programs. CPRIT awards grants for a wide variety of cancer-related research.
Have major campus stakeholders been consulted about this policy change?
In February and March 2012, University President David Daniel and Vice President for Administration Calvin Jamison met with representatives of the Academic Senate, the Staff Council and the Student Government to discuss the policy change. All groups expressed general approval for a tobacco free workplace policy.
What does the Tobacco Free Building Policy prohibit?
The policy prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco. The policy also prohibits the advertisement, distribution and improper disposal of tobacco products.
Where does the policy apply?
Beginning Aug. 31, 2012, the use of any tobacco products will be prohibited within all UT Dallas buildings and within 10 meters of any building. Tobacco use also will be prohibited in parking lots and sidewalks immediately adjacent to Berkner Hall and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory (NSERL), the buildings in which CPRIT-funded research currently takes place.
What was UT Dallas’ previous policy on tobacco use?
UT Dallas had already banned smoking in buildings or within 25 feet of any academic or service building.
Is the University requiring people to stop using tobacco products?
No, but we encourage tobacco users to explore this option.
Are cessation programs and/or tobacco alternatives available?
Members of the campus community who currently use tobacco products will find programs and resources on becoming tobacco free through the following resources:
- Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-386-9156, 214-648-5330 or write for information at email@example.com
- BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas
- Student Wellness Center
How will the policy be enforced?
Awareness and education are keys to implementing the policy. We will build awareness of the policy through electronic notification, signage and informational meetings. The policy will be explained during the admission and enrollment process for new students and during new hire orientation for faculty and staff. It is expected that students, employees and visitors will voluntarily comply with this campus-wide policy. Students, staff and faculty may respectfully inform others of this policy to enhance awareness and encourage compliance.
Are there exceptions to the policy?
Tobacco use may be allowed in sponsored research, during University authorized artistic performances or for educational or clinical purposes. Prior approval is necessary.
Further exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis, reserved for exceptional circumstances.
Will there be signs to tell people they can’t use tobacco products on campus?
Yes, signs will be posted stating all University buildings are tobacco free.
What if people don’t follow the policy?
Violations may be reported to the Office of Administration, and will be referred to the appropriate University officials. Repeated violations may result in disciplinary action according to established administrative disciplinary policies and procedures or the Student Discipline and Conduct Policy.
Have other colleges and universities implemented a tobacco free campus?
Yes, many colleges and universities across the country have become tobacco free environments. In the UT System, Arlington, Austin, Brownsville, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Southwestern Medical Center are all tobacco free.