Oct. 24, 2012
Dear UNT community,
As I noted earlier this year, UNT will become a smoke-free campus on Jan. 1, 2013, with the implementation of a new policy. This is a natural step for UNT, which already prohibits smoking in facilities, allowing it only in designated areas.
With this move, UNT will join more than 700 universities or colleges in America that already have taken the step to go smoke free or tobacco free. Earlier this year, the university conducted a statistically valid survey of students and employees, which indicated that a large majority favored a smoke-free environment.
UNT also has explored the decisive research on the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, which finds that nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke have increased risks of heart disease and lung cancer. As a university, it is our responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of all who study, live and work here or who visit our campus. Becoming a smoke-free campus will help reduce the dangers of secondhand smoke.
To ensure we have input from various constituents and to be sensitive to both nonsmokers and smokers, I created a committee of student, faculty and staff representatives. The committee has created a draft of the policy, which is in the final stages of review by the President's Cabinet and the Office of General Counsel so it can be implemented by Jan. 1, 2013.
The smoke-free policy will apply to all campus property. When the new policy is launched, there will be campuswide communications with details of the new policy as well as signs posted on buildings and throughout campus notifying students, faculty, staff and visitors that UNT is a smoke-free campus.
As with the current policy on smoking, enforcement is expected to rely on awareness, respect for others and voluntary compliance, and there will be a process for complaints.
We hope that the new smoke-free policy will make UNT's environment even more pleasant and healthy for all.
V. Lane Rawlins
Posted on: Wed 24 October 2012