The University of Tampa’s ban all smoking and tobacco use on campus takes effect today.
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. This ban includes all UT students, employees, including contractors, 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.
Since 2013 smoking has been prohibited in UT’s buildings, limiting smoking to designated zones on campus. Now the school wants to force health, safety, wellness benefits to all that visit the private institution.
“Our goal is to create and promote a healthy campus that will foster teaching, learning, working and living,” said Gina Firth, associate dean of wellness.
“This initiative will have a positive impact in many ways, including enhanced community life, improved productivity through better health and potential decreases in health care costs.”
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.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 105 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa.
USF instituted a similar ban in January.