Beginning on Monday, Aug. 1, The University of Tampa will ban all smoking and tobacco use on campus.
The policy, which was announced in January, bans smoking and use of tobacco of all types, including electronic cigarettes, chew tobacco, hookah, cigar and cigarette smoking. It includes all UT students, employees — including contractors — and visitors, and covers the entire 105-acre UT campus, including all academic and residential buildings, athletic facilities and fields, parking garages, open spaces and offices. Students, faculty and staff will enforce the new policy.
Smoking has long been prohibited in UT’s buildings, and since 2013, UT had limited smoking to designated zones on campus.
Gina Firth, associate dean of wellness, said the new smoke-free policy is intended for the health, safety, wellness and benefit of UT students.
“Our goal is to create and promote a healthy campus that will foster teaching, learning, working and living,” Firth said.
Along with senior University administrators, the student organization Breathe-Easy UT helped craft the new policy. The organization considered this policy and worked on other issues for six years and did extensive surveys and focus groups with students, faculty and staff.
According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), in the state of Florida, 23 college campuses have taken the step to become 100 percent smoke free, and 12 of those also ban tobacco products and e-cigarettes. There are smoke-free colleges and universities in virtually every state, totaling 1,483 smoke-free campuses. Of these, 1,137 are tobacco free, and 823 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus.
More information about smoking cessation programs can be found at Live Well UT at www.ut.edu/wellness/smoking/.