North Texas Daily

UNT officially smoke free with new policy

UNT officially smoke free with new policy

January 14
20:57 2013

Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer

UNT is officially smoke free after the smoke free campus policy became active on January 1, 2013, effectively forbidding anyone from smoking tobacco products on campus or UNT property.

The policy does not make the campus completely tobacco free, but does limit the use of electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to outdoor use so long as they are 25 feet away from a facility entrance and dispose of waste properly.

The only tobacco-free zone on campus is the Life Science complex and the surrounding area, and there are no designated smoking areas on campus.

All ashtrays around campus have been removed and smoke free campus signs are in place.

Not all students are pleased with the ban, however.

“I think there’s going to be a line of cigarette butts along the sidewalks after a month and a half that borders the school,” English Senior Brett Rice said.

The new policy lists goals such as to minimize the dangers of second hand smoke, but does not include is that if UNT did not create a tobacco free zone around the Life Science Complex they would lose eligibility to receive about $200,000 annually for prostate cancer research from The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

The Smoking Ban first gained momentum in April of 2012 when a survey by the University was conducted that showed that more than 75 percent of students and faculty surveyed on campus favored a smoke free environment, President V. Lane Rawlins said.

The smoke free policy committee made up of UNT faculty drafted the Policy during the summer before being approved on November 19, 2012.

Other main points of the new smoke free campus policy are that the sale and distribution of tobacco products is prohibited on UNT property and enforcement of this policy is primarily the responsibility of all UNT students, faculty, staff and visitors.

If someone witnesses a violation and the person in violation of the policy refuses to comply voluntarily with an informal request, then the witness should contact Human Resources or the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, according to the Smoke-Free Campus Policy.

Throughout the process, President Rawlins has said that he does not anticipate the need for punishment or policing of the policy, but if self-enforcement doesn’t work then the issue could be addressed.

“I am confident that we won’t have to have any serious enforcement issues at all,” Rawlins said.

As of Monday, Student Body President and Smoke Free Policy Committee member Rudy Reynoso had not been informed of any complaints associated with people not complying with the policy.

Other Universities in Texas with smoke free campuses include Texas State University, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Texas Tech Health Science Center.

The Student Health and Wellness Center and Human Resources will offer smoking cessation programs.

Smoke Free Campus Policy can be found at

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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  1. Chuck Norton
    Chuck Norton January 15, 17:12

    The adoption of the campus smoking ban is a welcome move to promote public health. Non-smokers should not be subjected to second-hand smoke when they are walking on campus or entering and leaving buildings. The inconvenience this new policy may cause to nicotine addicts is minor compared to the potential harm they do to others by indulging their drug habit on campus.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Magan C.
    Magan C. February 11, 18:03

    I completely support what UNT is doing, even as a smoker, but removing all ashtrays was not the best idea. Students and staff have to go to the Hickory and Fry street area to smoke, but the ashtrays are gone. This will increase litter significantly. I think I can speak for most of the smoking population on campus, that all we ask is not to take ashtrays away from the one place we can smoke.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Common Sense
    Common Sense February 16, 04:33

    Don’t smoke, then you won’t have to worry about the ashtrays.

    Reply to this comment

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