Tobacco-Free Campus

Handbook of Operating Procedures 8-1040

Tobacco-Free Campus

University of Texas SealEffective April 09, 2012
Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerPolicy Owner: Assoc. Vice President for Human Resources
I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco products on University property. The University prohibits any advertising or sale, or free sampling of tobacco products on University property. Littering the campus with the remains of tobacco products or any other related waste product is prohibited.

II. Reason for Policy 

The University recognizes its social responsibility to promote the health, well-being and safety of University students, faculty, staff and visitors. As a premier research institution, the University considers cancer research to be vital to our core mission and our goal to enhance public health. Tobacco prevention programs are most effective when supplemented by strong tobacco-free policies and when they are incorporated into a broader community effort to reduce tobacco use. In light of this information, and to ensure compliance with external cancer research funding requirements, it is the University’s intent to prohibit tobacco use subject to a phase-in period as set forth below.


This policy permits the University to meet sustainable green building design standards through LEED (Leadership in energy and Environmental Design) certification.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all employees, students, University affiliates, contractors and visitors and is applicable twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Building Manager:

A person designated by the University to coordinate and monitor the physical, environmental, fire and life safety, and security conditions in a building. This individual is also responsible for assessing the adequacy of signage on the building and adjacent University property. A list of Building Managers may be found at the Facilities Services website.

Designated Tobacco Use Area:

A pre-approved location for tobacco use. The locations selected, to the greatest extent possible, will be located far enough away from adjacent buildings or structures to minimize air quality concerns relating to those structures. In general, this will require a minimum distance of at least 25 feet from any air intake, gate, entryway, arch or doorway leading to or from adjacent buildings and structures. In any event, the designated tobacco use areas will comply with Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Health Services, Part 11, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), Chapter 703, Grants for Cancer Prevention and Research, Section 703.20. The tobacco use prohibition will be phased in as follows: (1) tobacco use will be permitted, in a limited number of temporary designated tobacco use areas, until February 28, 2013; and (2) on March 1, 2013, the temporary designated tobacco use areas will lose such designation and all forms of tobacco use on or at the University will be prohibited except where allowed in Section VII(C) below.

Tobacco Products:

All forms of tobacco, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and any non-FDA approved nicotine delivery device.

University Community:

Students, faculty, staff, University affiliates, contractors and visitors.

University Property:

Property located within the State of Texas that is owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by the University. For purposes of the Tobacco-Free Campus policy, this includes but is not limited to all buildings and structures, sidewalks, parking lots, walkways and attached parking structures owned or controlled by the University and all University-owned vehicles.

V. Website (for policy)
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Building Managers Human ResourcesWebsite:
Human ResourcesPhone:512-471-4772Website:
Student AffairsPhone:512-471-1133Website:
Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)Phone:512-471-3511Website:
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 



Adherence to this policy is the responsibility of all members of the University community. It is expected that students, faculty, staff, University affiliates, contractors and visitors to campus will comply with this policy. Members of the University community are empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy in an ongoing effort to enhance awareness of and encourage compliance with this policy.


Enforcement of Policy


Effective implementation of this policy relies on the courtesy, respect and cooperation of all members of the University community.


  1. If someone is seen using tobacco on University property, an individual may inform the tobacco user of this policy and request that he/she comply. If the individual does not comply, details of the policy violation may be referred to the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for appropriate resolution as described immediately below in this subsection (2).
  1. Where cases are referred to the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for resolution, such resolution may include referral to:
  • The Office of Human Resources, HealthPoint when the concern is related to a staff person.
  • The appropriate department chair or dean when the concern is related to a faculty member.
  • The Office of the Dean of Students, or a designee of the office, when the concern is related to a student.
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, or a designee of the office, when the concern is related to contractors and visitors.

Exceptions to Policy


Tobacco use may be permitted under the following circumstances:

  • Sponsored research involving tobacco or tobacco products, provided the University employee obtains the prior approval of the Vice President for Research and a waiver is requested and granted in accordance with sponsored research requirements, if any. Smoke, like any other laboratory air contaminant, shall be controlled. The designs for designated laboratories must be approved by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
  • By artists or actors who participate in University authorized performances that require smoking as part of the artistic production.
  • Educational or clinical purposes with prior approval of the dean or director responsible for the facility or the Vice President for Research, and in the case of smoking, the University Fire Marshal.
  • On the grounds of off-campus graduate housing facilities and, in the case where University employees are required to live in off-campus University-provided housing as a condition of their employment, off-campus University-provided lodging, so long as no cancer prevention research is being conducted on said grounds.
  • Temporary designated tobacco use areas. A limited number of temporary designated tobacco use areas will be established pursuant to the transition plan described above, all of which will be phased out on March 1, 2013.

Awareness and Education


The implementation of this policy is augmented by an awareness and education campaign that includes but is not limited to:

  • Notification of our Tobacco-Free Campus policy to current and prospective students and employees through communication available on University websites;
  • Notification during the admission and enrollment process and/or during new hire orientation for faculty and staff, as applicable;

  • Informational meetings, postings, and electronic notifications;

  • Tobacco cessation programming for students and employees;

  • Notices bearing the message “Tobacco-Free Campus” or the international “No Tobacco” symbol or similar signage will be posted at major vehicular crossways, pedestrian crosswalks and building entrances. However, the Tobacco-Free Campus policy applies to all University property whether or not notices are posted unless specified as an approved exception in Section VII(C) above.

Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events and sporting events using University facilities will be required to abide by the Tobacco-Free Campus policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees.


Tobacco Cessation Assistance


The University is committed to supporting all students and employees who wish to stop using tobacco products and assistance is available.


For a full listing of tobacco cessation resources please visit:

VIII. Forms & Tools 
XI. History 

Last review date: April 9, 2012

Next scheduled review date: April 2014

Effective 4/9/2012, this policy replaces the Nonsmoking Policy with same HOP number.

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