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New Tobacco Policy

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When, where, why, how, and with whom did the initiative begin?

The Student Government Association initially called for a tobacco-free campus. Faculty and Staff Senates passed similar resolutions. The SGA later amended its stance to that of limiting the use of tobacco on campus.

How was the final policy decided?

As part of the University's Centennial, President Shirley Raines appointed a committee to create a Healthy New Century Campus Plan. This committee advocated a three-pronged program: move more, eat healthier and be tobacco-free.

Who was on the committee?

The original committee included Dr. Ralph Faudree, provost; Dr. Rosie Bingham, vice president for Student Affairs; Maria Alam, AVP/chief Human Resources officer, Dr. Lisa Klesges, dean of the School of Public Health; Dr. Stephen Petersen, dean of Students; Dr. Linda Finch, associate dean for Undergraduate Programs, Loewenberg School of Nursing; and Steven Whistler, assistant director, Campus Recreational Services. These committee members then appointed a sub-committee that became the catalyst for Memphis Healthy U.

What changes in on-campus tobacco use will take place?

There are designated areas on all U of M campuses where tobacco can be used. Smoking is prohibited on other areas of campus.

Will people be allowed to possess tobacco on campus, e.g., in their pockets, in their purses, in their cars, or in their rooms, if they don't actually use it?

Yes.

Who does the policy apply to?

The policy applies to anyone who is on campus, including vendors, alumni and visitors.

When does the policy take effect?

October 1, 2012

How will the new policy be enforced?

The success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of tobacco users and non-users. Discipline policies applicable to students, faculty and staff may be invoked, if necessary, to secure compliance with this policy.

How will infractions be handled?

  • Violations by faculty and staff should be brought to the attention of the employee's supervisor and/or Human Resources, as appropriate 
  • Violations by students should be brought to the attention of Student Affairs
  • Violations by visitors should be brought to the attention of Police Services
  • Violations by contractors should be brought to the attention of the department for whom the contractor is working or Physical Plant, as appropriate

Any violator of the policy who refuses to comply, or who becomes abusive toward the responsible party, will be referred to Police Services.

How will the policy be communicated?

Appropriate signage will be displayed and all receptacles for discarding smoking materials will be removed from areas where smoking is prohibited. Human Resources will inform faculty and staff. Student Affairs will notify students. Additionally, U of M contractors will be notified by the U of M departments for which they are doing work.

Where can I find the policy?

By visiting http://policies.memphis.edu/UM1738.htm

Is it possible that the campus will go totally tobacco free in the future?

At this time, there are no plans to go tobacco free.

Why are e-cigarettes included in the new policy?

The FDA has issued a warning based on its analysis of two popular brands of e-cigarettes. The study found nicotine and traces of carcinogenic and toxic chemicals within the e-cigarettes. The full study can be found on the FDA Web site: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm172906.htm.

What should I do if I see someone smoking on University of Memphis grounds?

Faculty, staff and students who see individuals smoking on campus grounds are asked to inform these individuals politely that UofM policy prohibits tobacco use on university grounds except in the designated areas. Individuals who do not feel comfortable approaching someone violating the policy should contact their immediate supervisor or department head, for faculty and staff, and the Dean of Students Office for students. We ask that all members of the UofM community treat each other with dignity and respect, support one another, and share in having a healthy living, learning, and working environment.

The following are suggested scripts to use as a helpful resource:

  • Example Script #1:
    Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on UofM property.
    Response: "Hello. I want to make you aware that we have designated areas for tobacco use/smokers. We would appreciate if you would smoke/use tobacco in the specified areas while on our campus. Thank you for your cooperation."
  • Example Script #2:
    Question: "Where am I allowed to smoke?"
    Response: "If you need to smoke or use tobacco products you can go to your car, or go to one of the designated areas. You can visit our online campus maps to help you identify these areas by going to www.memphis.edu/tobacco.
  • Example Script #3:
    For registration, pre-admission, and office staff who are speaking to students, families and visitors prior to a UofM campus visit: "I'd like to let you know in advance that our campus has a Limited Tobacco Use policy. For more information on where these areas are located go to www.memphis.edu/tobacco. Tobacco cessation resources are available for enrolled students and staff and faculty."

Can I smoke in my personal vehicle while parked on campus?

Yes, you may use tobacco products in your personal vehicle.

Do employees, students, and visitors have to quit using tobacco?

No. We are not saying you must quit smoking. But we are saying you should adhere to the University of Memphis policies including using tobacco in the designated areas. If you are ready to quit, we want to support your efforts and encourage you to reach out to Student Health Services for students, and your health insurance provided for faculty and staff.

What areas are included in the Limited Tobacco-Use Campus Policy?

The policy applies to university buildings and on university grounds, including parking areas, sidewalks, walkways, university-affiliated parking facilities and university-owned buildings, except in the designated tobacco use areas.

What is considered university property in this policy?

Property located within the State of Tennessee that is owned, operated, occupied or controlled by the university. This includes but is not limited to all buildings, structures, vehicles, sidewalks, parking lots, walkways and attached parking structures owned or controlled by the university.

How will tobacco-use areas be marked?

Approved tobacco-use areas will be designated with a sign and a receptacle for tobacco-related waste will be located near the sign. Littering the campus with the remains of tobacco products or any other waste product is otherwise prohibited.

Questions? E-mail tobacco@memphis.edu

Limited-Use Tobacco Policy

Getting in the Tobacco-Free Tiger Zone
Short video on the limited-use tobacco policy at the University of Memphis

Smokers Can’t Do This
Short video produced by students and faculty in the Department of Journalism

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Last Updated: 5/22/13