Committee recommends tobacco‑free campus by 2011
A 15-member ad hoc committee has issued a report recommending that UT Arlington become a tobacco-free campus by August 2011 to foster a healthier community for students, employees and visitors.
The proposed policy would bar the use of all tobacco products—including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco and other products—on campus property at all times. The committee has called for a widespread communication and public awareness campaign in the two years leading up to implementation. During the transition, smoking cessation programs and other resources would be made available to students, faculty and staff who want to stop using tobacco products.
Current university policy prohibits tobacco use in all campus buildings and facilities, including residence halls, apartments and houses. Tobacco may not be used within 50 feet of building entrances or air intake vents of campus buildings.
Jean Hood, vice president of human resources, served as chair of the 15-member Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative Committee.
"Universities across the country are moving toward tobacco-free campus policies, and it is the right time for our campus to do so," Hood says. "Our research shows a strong campus consensus to move toward being a tobacco-free campus in a phased approach over the next two years. We are committed to providing students, faculty and staff who wish to stop using tobacco products the resources they need to transition to the new environment."
Members of the UT Arlington community may comment on the proposed change through Oct. 19, 2009, by e‑mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A final decision is expected later this year.
The ad hoc committee began meeting in January 2009 and solicited input about University tobacco use rules through a series of campus forums and meetings last spring. Other data were collected through an online survey distributed to 29,000 members of the campus community.
For more information, visit www.uta.edu/tobaccofree.