North Texas Daily

A look at UNT’s no-smoking policy

A look at UNT’s no-smoking policy

November 25
12:22 2015

Chelsea Watkins | Staff Writer

@chelloo

UNT’s no-smoking policy was originally established when the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas began requiring universities to establish a tobacco-free campus. In exchange, the university received annual grants from the institute. But 2012 was the last year the institute awarded UNT with a $181,000 grant.

The smoking ban, originally implemented on Jan. 1, 2013, prohibits smoking anywhere on UNT property by students, faculty and visitors. But the ban’s reliance on voluntary compliance is problematic and cannot be supported by the UNT Police Department.

“You never see people smoking in the buildings, right?” UNT police chief Ed Reynolds said. “It eventually became taboo. The hope is that smoking on campus will eventually be stopped because of the honor code.”

According to policy guidelines, the ban is intended to protect everyone on the UNT campus by minimizing the second-hand exposure to tobacco smoke.

The policy defines smoking as inhaling and/or possessing a lit pipe, cigar, cigarette or any other type of smoking equipment containing tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarettes are prohibited in buildings but are allowed outdoors 25 feet or more from a building entrance. Selling or distributing tobacco products is not allowed anywhere on campus.

Smoking is allowed in personal vehicles if the windows are closed and products are properly disposed of.

Students can only be punished if another student takes it upon him or herself to report their actions. Students are also encouraged to politely remind their peers of the smoke-free policy.

Political science junior Mallory Sivard said she doesn’t think the smoking ban is well enforced.

“If a student has to report something to get anything done, then it’s incredibly idiotic,” Sivard said.

Sivard said the ban has been partially successful because she has noticed fewer people smoking on campus than before, but there is still an issue at hand because some continue to disregard the ban.

“If I’m around so much smoke during the day then I just start coughing at night, and it affects my sleeping patterns,” Sivard said.

Students who witness another student repeatedly in violation are encouraged to contact Student Affairs. Professors should report to Human Resources.

Editor’s Note: The original post, which also ran in print Thursday, Nov. 26, stated Student Government Association had formed a smoking ban committee to explore the no-smoking policy for further action. That is incorrect; there had been talks of forming of committee earlier in the semester, but the SGA leadership confirmed there is not standing committee. 

Featured Image: UNT has a strict no smoking policy on campus, yet you can see evidence of smoking all around campus. Haley Yates| Staff Photographer

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