Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

1. When was the official date of the Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus policy?

The tobacco-free campus policy was adopted by the UT System Office of General Counsel and placed in the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures on August 5, 2013. It was officially announced by the Office of the President, on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

2. Wasn’t UTEP smoke-free before? Why are we going tobacco-free now?

No, UTEP allowed smoking on campus and restricted use near entrances and exits. By choosing to go smoke and tobacco-free, we are removing the potential negative side effects associated with tobacco use (i.e., health issues, litter).

3. What does tobacco-free mean?

Tobacco products include, but are not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco or all other tobacco products. Additionally being tobacco-free means we are doing more than eliminating the use of tobacco products and are moving towards a cleaner, healthier, and more respectful environment.

4. Is the university requiring that people quit using tobacco products?

No. It is not the intention of the University of Texas at El Paso to regulate the personal use of tobacco or eliminate tobacco products.

5. What resources are available to help those who want to quit using tobacco products? Does UTEP provide tobacco cessation services?

There are several options available for those who wish to quit. For more information visit setyourdate.org and our Human Resources page.

6. Will there be signs to tell people they can’t use tobacco?

No, temporary signage was placed after the policy rolled out, but there will not be permanent signage placed. Education regarding the policy will be ongoing.

7. What about exceptions to the policy?

There is one exception to the policy. See the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures for further details. See the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures for further details.

8. Will e-cigarettes, clove cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or tobacco-free hookahs be allowed on campus?

No, tobacco products include but are not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco or all other tobacco products. See the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures for further details.

9. What other universities have implemented a tobacco-free campus?

Within the UT System most schools have announced they are tobacco-free including UT Austin and UT San Antonio.

Who does this effect?

1. Does this apply to all faculty and staff including part-time or contract employees?

Yes, the policy applies to all who visit or work on University property.

2. Does the policy apply to visitors to campus?

Yes. The policy will affect anyone who comes onto campus for a public or private event. Any outside organization, agency or group who uses on-campus facilities will be expected to adhere to this policy as they would any other policy in the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures.

Coverage and/or Area

1. What about visitors to athletic events? Does the tobacco-free campus policy apply at sanctioned events or activities occurring off campus property?

No. The policy applies only to events on campus. See the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures for further details.

2. Can people smoke on city streets or sidewalks that cross the campus?

University property include but are not limited to, all enclosed or partially enclosed areas such as walkways, breezeways, bus shelters, sidewalks, parking lots, and parking structures, whether attached or unattached. See the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures.

3. Does the Tobacco-free Campus policy apply to university housing?

Yes.

4. Will there be designated smoking or tobacco use areas?

Tobacco and Smoke Free areas apply throughout the University Property, including all grounds, sidewalks, parking areas, structures, and buildings, whether or not signs are posted. No ashtrays or smoking shelters will be provided on University Property, as it is in its entirety designated as a University Tobacco and Smoke Free Area.

Enforcement

1. How will this policy be enforced?

We are instituting this policy with the intention of creating a culture of respect for tobacco users and non-tobacco users alike. The purpose of the policy is not to be punitive; however, instead to create a culture of respect which means it is up to the individual smoker to respect him/herself and his/her fellow students and adhere to the policy. Self-enforcement has been key during the implementation of similar policies. An individual who feels that there has been a violation of this policy should attempt to resolve the problem informally by requesting that the individual comply with the policy.

2. Will officers be placed outside the football stadium and basketball arena to ensure adherence?

No. We will have signs outside of the facility reminding visitors of the policy, as well as announcements during games but the policy will be predominantly self-enforced.

3. What should I do if I see someone using tobacco on university property?

The individual should attempt to resolve the problem informally by requesting that the individual comply with the policy. If direct appeal fails and the behavior persists, the individual should contact the Office of Human Resources or Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs for referral to the appropriate administrative official. See the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures for further details.

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