The University of Tampa is now a smoke-free campus.
- University of Tampa goes smoke-free
- Includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, hookahs, cigars
- Student organization Breathe-Easy UT worked to create policy
- University of Tampa smoke-free campus details
When students return to campus in a few weeks, there will be no smoking permitted anywhere on UT property.
University officials say they've worked since 2010 to make the entire 105-acre campus smoke-free. The smokeless status begins Monday and includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, hookahs and cigars.
A group of public health students initially pursued the goal six years ago. Smoking has been limited to designated zones on campus since 2013.
Professors and school administrators joined in and conducted a study that looked at trends happening in higher education and discovered smoking was being banned at universities across the country. In fact, UT is one of the last universities in the Bay area to prohibit smoking.
The University of South Florida banned smoking on its campuses earlier this year. Close to 2,000 colleges and universities have banned smoking.
UT officials say that aside from the serious health consequences from smoking, many employers also are banning it, creating a need to make sure students are preparing as they head into the work world.
"I’m excited to see how the students react when they come back in the fall," Associate Dean of Wellness Gina Firth said. "They were aware of it when they left in the spring, but overall, we have really great support within our entire community."
So what happens when someone ignores the order or doesn't see the signs? School officials said there will first be a warning. Further action will be taken for habitual offenders. The school also is offering various programs to help students and staff quit smoking in they choose to do so.