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No Ifs, Ands or Butts: UT Officially Smoke Free

A new policy prohibits lighting up on the UT campus.
Photo courtesy
A new policy prohibits lighting up on the UT campus.

The University of Texas at Austin has kicked the smoking habit.

The UT System Board of Regents approved the policy this week. So while there are no signs up yet – and ashtrays can still readily be found around the 40-acres – smoking is no longer allowed. UT-Austin Human Resource Services director Adrienne Howarth-Moore says those no-smoking signs will be up soon.

"We have already received an order of our tobacco free campus signs,” Howarth-Moore says. “And so we are developing a plan for implementing those exterior signs, so that they will be prominently displayed for not just our campus community but for the variety of visitors and the general public that come to our campus on a daily basis."

There will be designated smoking areas for the first year of the ban. There will be no fines for smoking on campus, but people will be able to tell a smoker to put out that cigarette.

The change was made to bring the university into compliance with requirements from a major source of cancer research funding. KUT News reported in February that the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas would no longer fund research at institutions that do not have a "tobacco-free" campus policy. The Texas Tribune writes that the university currently receives some $30 million annually from CPRIT – and with the ban in place, UT could apply for up to $80 million annually.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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