Why is UTA tobacco-free?
UTA became a tobacco-free campus in 2011 because it takes the health and safety of its employees and students very seriously. Research continues to show that the use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and tobacco use in general—including breathing in secondhand smoke—constitutes a significant health hazard. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has classified tobacco smoke as a Group A carcinogen since 1990. Additionally, a U.S. Surgeon General’s report in 2006 concluded that the health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are more pervasive than previously thought. The report found that “even the most sophisticated ventilation systems cannot completely eliminate secondhand smoke exposure and that only smoke-free environments afford full protection.”
In addition to causing health-related illnesses, the use of tobacco products contributes to institutional costs in other ways, including fire damage, cleaning and maintenance costs, and costs associated with employee and student absenteeism, health care, and medical insurance.
How long has The University of Texas at Arlington had a smoking policy?
In 1991, UTA implemented the current Smoke Free Procedure for Campus Facilities policy. This policy, which was pioneering at the time, banned the use of tobacco inside buildings, prohibited its use outside within 50 feet of any building, and established outdoor smoking areas.
Are there any other tobacco-free universities?
Yes. Colleges and municipalities across the country are beginning to implement stricter smoking and tobacco-free policies to reduce the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco, smoking, and secondhand smoke in public places. In Texas, for example, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Alamo Community College District, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have already gone tobacco-free on their campuses.
Are all tobacco products banned at UTA?
Yes, the use of all tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vapes, and other tobacco products) is prohibited at all times.
Can I smoke anywhere outside?
No, the tobacco-free policy applies to all outside property or grounds of UTA and its affiliated campuses. This includes partially enclosed areas such as walkways, breezeways, and bus shelters.
Can I smoke in my car if it’s parked on campus?
While tobacco is prohibited inside all UTA vehicles (including buses and vans), students, faculty, and staff may smoke inside their own vehicles as long as the windows and doors remain closed.
What happens if I violate the tobacco-free policy?
Violations could result in referral to the appropriate University officials for disciplinary action in accordance with established student, staff, and/or faculty codes of conduct and procedures. Please review the Tobacco-free Campus Policy for details.
Does the policy apply to the Fort Worth Center and other satellite locations?
Yes, the policy includes all the UTA main campus and all other buildings or facilities leased off the main campus.
Is the University requiring that people quit smoking?
No, though we encourage current tobacco users to do so.
Does the University offer any resources to help people quit smoking?
Yes, UTA offers a number of free tobacco cessation programs for the University community. For more information, visit the Ready to Quit? page.
Does the policy apply to visitors to campus?
Yes. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events using UTA facilities are required to abide by the tobacco-free policy and procedure. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees and for enforcing this policy.