4.4.2 Tobacco Free Campus

A. Purpose

The University of Texas at Tyler (UTT) has a responsibility for and is committed to promoting the health, well-being and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. 

B. Authority/Persons Affected

University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations Rule 80111, Smoke Free Facilities

25 Texas Administrative Code Section 703.20

This policy applies to all employees, students, affiliates, contractors, and visitors of the University of Texas at Tyler and the Health Science Center at UT Tyler (UTT) and is applicable twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.

C. Definitions

Tobacco Product: Any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including without limitation cigarettes, cigars, bidis, kreteks, and any form of smokeless tobacco (e.g., snuff, chewing tobacco, etc.).

Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS): A battery-powered vaporizer which simulates tobacco smoking by producing an aerosol that resembles smoke. Also, referred to as an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or Personal Vaporizer (PV).

Smoking Device: Any device used to smoke tobacco products (e.g. pipes, water pipers, hookah, etc.) as well as any ENDS.

University Property: UTT Property: Property located within the State of Texas that is owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by UTT. For purposes of the Tobacco-Free Campus policy, this includes but is not limited to all buildings and structures (external stairwells, walkways, balconies, etc.), grounds, sidewalks, parking lots, walkways attached parking structures, and vehicles owned or controlled by UTT. Nicotine, tobacco, or smoke product use is not allowed in personal vehicles when transporting persons on authorized UTT business.

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Enforcement of Policy

    As of August 15, 2016, UTT prohibits the use of all smoking devices and tobacco products on UTT property. The advertising or sale, or free sampling of tobacco products on UTT property in addition to littering the campus with the remains of tobacco products or any other related waste product is prohibited. 

    It is expected that students, faculty, staff, contractors, including but not limited to, contractors, sub-contractors, vendors and vendor representatives, patients, and visitors to campus will comply with this policy while on UTT property or in any UTT vehicle. 

  2. Procedures

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

    1. Violations of this policy can and will be enforced through routine inspections or the result of complaints from the campus community.
    2. If someone is seen using smoking devices or tobacco products on UTT property, an individual may inform the user of this policy and request compliance with this policy, or the Individuals may contact the UTT  Campus Police, the Office of Human Resources or the Compliance Office for appropriate resolution as described below.
    3. Where cases are referred to the Compliance Office for resolution, such resolution may include referral to:
      1. The Office of Human Resources when the concern is related to a staff or faculty member.
      2. The Office of the Vice President for Student Success, or a designee of the office, when the concern is related to a student.
      3. Campus Auxiliary, or a designee of those services, when the concern is related to contractors.  
      4. d. If compliance is not achieved, UTT police, under Texas Penal Code 48.01 or Texas Education Code - EDUC § 51.202, may enforce this policy. Violation of the Penal Code provision is a Class C misdemeanor with a possible fine up to $500 per occurrence.  Any violations of this policy will be handled through departmental administrative channels and administrative procedures.  Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
  3. Exemptions to the Policy 

    Smoking devices or tobacco products may be permitted under the following circumstances:

    1. Sponsored research involving smoking devices or tobacco products, provided the UTT employee obtains the prior approval from the Office of Sponsored 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.
    2. By artists or actors who participate in UT Tyler authorized performances that require use of smoking devices or tobacco products as part of the artistic production, where prior approval of the appropriate Vice President and other required officials is obtained.
    3. Under special circumstances, which may include clinical or educational purposes, where prior approval of the appropriate Vice President and other required officials, i.e. the Office of Environmental Health & Safety is obtained.
  4. Awareness and Education

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

    1. Notification of our Tobacco-Free Campus policy to current and prospective students and employees through communication available on the UTT websites; notification during the admission and enrollment process or during new hire orientation for faculty and staff, as applicable;
    2. Informational meetings, postings, and electronic notifications;
    3. Tobacco cessation programming for students and employees;
    4. Notices bearing the message “Tobacco-Free Campus” or similar signage may be posted around campus property. However, the Tobacco-Free Campus policy applies to all University property whether or not notices are posted unless specified as an approved exception. 
    5. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events and sporting events using UTT facilities will be required to abide by the Tobacco-Free Campus policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees. 
    6. Tobacco Cessation Assistance: UTT is committed to supporting all students, faculty and staff who wish to stop using tobacco products and assistance is available.  For a full listing of tobacco cessation resources, please visit, http://www.uttyler.edu/tobacco-free.php or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: www.cdc.gov/tobacco.

    E. Responsibilities

    See Policy and Procedures section.

    F. Review

    This policy shall be reviewed by the Office Human Resources every five years or as legislation changes.

AMENDED: 02/2019

AMENDED: 12/2021