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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: GENERAL INDEX: A-15
SUBJECT: SMOKE/TOBACCO POLICY

POLICY

The University of Houston-Victoria is committed to providing a healthy and safe work and learning environment for the university community. This policy and the associated procedures are consistent with this interest.

This policy expands the scope of the prior Smoking Policy by prohibiting the use of all smoking and tobacco products in all buildings, vehicles, university grounds, including parking areas, sidewalks, walkways and other outdoor areas except in areas designated for smoking/tobacco use and certain other uses by specified exception.

Information provided by the United States Surgeon General shows that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. No tobacco product is safe and some could be more dangerous than others. Tobacco smoke contains a mix of more than 7,000 chemicals and about 70 are known to cause cancer. Breathing secondhand smoke exposes this chemical mix to others.

The university is not requiring anyone to quit smoking or stop using tobacco products but does expect this campus policy to be adhered to by all members of the university community including students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, university affiliates, contractors, visitors, and other persons on campus. This policy is effective twenty four (24) hour, seven (7) day a week.

Designated smoking/tobacco use locations will continue to be available for a minimum of 12 months from the date of policy enactment, after which time they may be phased out until the campus is completely smoke and tobacco free.

As part of this policy, the university, through the Safety and Risk Management Office, Student Life and Services Office, and Division of Student Affairs, will continue to broaden awareness of the dangers of smoking and tobacco use through ongoing awareness, educational campaigns, and by providing smoking/tobacco cessation assistance support to the campus smoking/tobacco use population.

Repeated or serious violations of this policy by students, faculty and staff can result in disciplinary action which will be handled through existing administrative procedures.

DEFINITIONS

  1. Designated Smoking/Tobacco Use Areas - Approved locations, designated by signage, where smoking/tobacco use will be temporarily permitted for a minimum of 12 months and then gradually phased out. The Safety & Risk Management Advisory Committee evaluates and reviews the suitability of the designated smoking/tobacco use areas and can make recommendations for change.
  2. Signage - Appropriate campus signage includes permanent smoking and tobacco policy signage at campus entrances and appropriate locations on the UHV campus and residential housing. Additionally, "Smoking/Tobacco Use Permitted This Location" signs will be posted at each designated use area.
  3. Smoking - The inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying of any lighted or heated tobacco product, electronic smoking devices, as well as the smoking of substances that are not tobacco.
  4. Smoke/Tobacco - Smoking, including the use of smokeless tobacco products, the use of unregulated nicotine products, and the use of electronic smoking devices, is prohibited.
  5. Tobacco Products - All forms of tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookahs), bidis, kreteks and electronic smoking devices. This also includes all forms of smokeless tobacco such as snuff, dip, snus, and dissolvable products, including lozenges, orbs, sticks, and strips containing tobacco, chewing tobacco, and any non-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nicotine delivery device.
  6. University Community - Students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, university affiliates, contractors, visitors and other persons on campus.
  7. University Controlled Properties - Properties located within the State of Texas that are owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by the university. For purposes of the Smoke/Tobacco Policy, this includes but is not limited to all buildings, vehicles, university grounds including parking areas sidewalks, walkways and other outdoor areas.

PROHIBITED SMOKING/TOBACCO USE AREAS

The Smoke/Tobacco Policy applies to all university property, unless otherwise designated, whether or not notices are posted, unless specified in this policy as an approved exception. Smoking or tobacco use is prohibited:

  1. In any university building owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by the university, including but not limited to all offices, classrooms, hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms and community areas within those facilities ;
  2. In residential housing owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by the university;
  3. On university grounds, including parking areas, sidewalks, walkways, fields, sports and recreational areas and other outdoor areas;
  4. In state-owned vehicles or in vehicles leased or rented in the name of the university;
  5. In shuttle buses, escort vans or in any type of campus utility vehicle.

DESIGNATED SMOKE/TOBACCO USE AREAS

  1. This policy prohibits the use, sale, advertising, and sampling of smoking/tobacco products on the university campus and residential housing including all buildings, vehicles, university grounds, parking areas, sidewalks, walkways and other outdoor areas owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by the university, except for areas designated as smoking/tobacco use areas.
  2. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, university affiliates, contractors, visitors, and other persons on campus and is applicable twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.
  3. Littering the campus with the remains of smoking/tobacco products, including cigarette butts, or any other waste product is prohibited, except by using appropriately labeled receptacles located in designated smoking/tobacco use areas for tobacco product disposal. Cigarette butts are to be disposed of in the receptacles located in the designated smoking/tobacco use areas
  4. Smoking/tobacco use is permitted in outside areas only that are specifically designated and posted as smoking/tobacco areas. The university Safety and Risk Management Office, in cooperation with university management, is responsible for designating and posting signs in smoking/tobacco use areas.
  5. Visit the Campus Map to view designated smoking/tobacco use areas.

SMOKING/TOBACCO USE EXCEPTIONS

Tobacco use and/or smoking may be permitted by limited exceptions:

  1. Sponsored research involving tobacco or tobacco products, provided that the requestor obtains the prior written approval of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs;
  2. By artists or actors who are participating in university authorized performances that require smoking or tobacco use as part of the artistic production;
  3. Educational or clinical purposes with prior written approval of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs;
  4. Designated smoking/tobacco use areas, as described within this policy.

AWARENESS, EDUCATION, OTHER ASSISTANCE

The Campus Smoke/Tobacco Policy is augmented by an awareness and education campaign that includes but not limited to:

  1. Notification of the Smoke/Tobacco Policy to current and prospective students and employees through appropriate locations on the university website, including but not limited to Student Life and Services, Campus Safety and Risk, Campus Police, Residence Life websites and Human Resources;
  2. Notification of this policy during the admission and enrollment processes, including all student orientation programs;
  3. Notification of this policy as part of the new hire orientations for faculty and staff;
  4. Communication during informational meetings, postings and electronic notifications as appropriate;
  5. Assistance in providing local resource availability and contact information on smoking/tobacco cessation assistance programs within the area;
  6. Development of campus based smoking/tobacco cessation programs.
ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE Effective implementation of this policy relies on the courtesy, respect, and cooperation of all university community members. If someone is seen using smoking/tobacco products on university property outside of a designated smoking/tobacco use area, an individual may inform the user of the policy and request that he/she comply. Enforcement of this policy will be achieved primarily through education, awareness and cooperation. Smokers and tobacco users and are expected to be respectful to non-smokers. In the same way, individuals noticing violations of this policy should be non-confrontational and respectful to smokers and tobacco users when communicating the campus policy.
  1. All members of the university community are responsible for adherence to this Smoke/Tobacco Policy.
  2. Students, faculty, staff, university affiliates, alumni, volunteers, contractors, visitors, and other persons on campus are responsible for complying with this policy while on university property.
  3. Public event organizers on campus are responsible for communicating the smoking/tobacco campus policy to program attendees. Organizers will provide information for all public events (such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events) to ensure attendees are informed about this policy. Organizers and attendees at university public events are required to follow the policy.
  4. Campus visitors can be asked to comply with the policy or leave campus.
  5. University community members are empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy as part of the ongoing effort to enhance awareness and encourage compliance with this policy.

Complaints about smoking/tobacco use in non-smoking/tobacco use areas may be directed to any Security Officer, the Campus Police Office, or the Campus Safety Office. Serious or repeated violations of this policy by students, faculty and staff may result in disciplinary action.

Questions or concerns regarding the implementation of this policy should be referred to the Campus Safety Office.

References

Approved:
Signature obtained
                            9/25/2014
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D,        Date
Interim President

Origination: Campus Safety and Risk Office, Business Services Department
Next review date: September, 2017