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07.02.02 – Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University

Section: Public Safety

Area: Fire and Life Safety

PDF version 


A. History-

Since June 1, 2013, the Campus has been designated as a tobacco-free Campus. The University prohibits the use of all tobacco/smoke/vape products in university buildings and on university grounds, including parking areas, sidewalks, walkways, university-affiliated parking facilities, and university-owned buildings. This policy applies to all employees, students, university affiliates, contractors, and visitors and is applicable twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. The purpose of this document is to:

• Establish all areas of the Campus as tobacco/smoke/vape-free, subject to the limited exceptions described in this policy.

• Document the responsibility of the University Community to adhere to the Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University.

• Provide information on enforcement activities regarding the Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University.

• Provide information on the awareness and education campaigns and cessation programs, which offer aid to those who wish to quit.

B. Benefits of Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University-

1. Comprehensive tobacco-free Campus policies have been proven to:

• Reduce the number of young people who begin smoking;

• Reduce the number of casual users who contribute to daily tobacco use;

• Reduce the amount of tobacco used by tobacco users,

• Increase the number of tobacco users who quit, and

• Result in a cleaner Campus

2. In a broader context, the Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University is another benefit of attending or working for a Tier One-designated university. Other benefits of a Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University include reducing fire hazards and developing cleaner grounds and air that support the Campus sustainability ("Green") efforts and that reduce human exposure to secondhand smoke/vapor.


A. Tobacco Products – All forms of tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookahs), bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, and any non-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nicotine delivery device.

B. E-Cigarettes – All forms of devices containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance that can be used by a person to inhale vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, vape pens, or under any other product name or descriptor, and any aerosol, liquid, or vapor used in such a device.

C. University Community – Students, faculty and staff employees, university affiliates, contractors, and visitors.

D. University Property – Property located within the State of Texas that is owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by the Campus. For purposes of a Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free 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 Campus.

E. Campus – All areas of the University of Houston, including areas that are not adjacent to the main campus, such as the UH Technology Bridge, UH Sugar Land, and UH Katy.

F. Signage – Appropriate Campus signage includes permanent "Tobacco-free Campus" or "Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free" signage at Campus entrances and appropriate locations on the Campus.


A. Prohibition of use and purchase of tobacco/smoke/vape products on Campus

1. The university prohibits the use, sale, advertising, and sampling of all tobacco/smoke/vape products on the Campus, including all buildings, vehicles, grounds, sidewalks, and parking areas owned and/or operated by the Campus.

Maintaining a Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University is part of the Campus commitment to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all members of the University Community, and is designed to be positive and health-directed. The Campus does not require the University Community to quit using tobacco/smoke/vape products, but does expect the policy to be adhered to by all individuals while on University Property.

Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University applies to all University Property, whether or not notices are posted, unless specified as an approved exception in Section III.C.

2. This policy applies to the University Community and is applicable twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.

3. Littering the Campus with the remains of Tobacco Products or any other waste product is prohibited.

Note: The University permits the Campus to meet sustainable green building design standards through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

B. Tobacco use may be permitted on Campus only under the following exceptions:

1. Sponsored research involving tobacco/smoke/vape products. In the case of smoking, the University Community must obtain a written waiver signed by the Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer prior to the initiation of the research. Any such waiver will designate a specific room within the facility (following inspection by the Fire Marshal's office and concurrence by the Dean or his direct representative) and sponsored research requirements. Smoke, like any other contaminant, will be controlled. All research involving the participation of human subjects, including that with tobacco/smoke/vape products requires approval by the UH Institutional Review Board.

2. By artists or actors who are participating in University-authorized performances that require smoking and vaping as part of the artistic production. Permission must be granted prior to the performances/rehearsals. Contact the School of Theatre and Dance in the department within the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University for additional policy requirements.

C. Responsibilities

1. All members of the University Community are responsible for adherence to a Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University.

2. All members of the University Community are responsible for complying with this policy while on the UH Campus.

3. Public event organizers on Campus are responsible for communicating this policy to program attendees. Organizers and attendees at University public events are required to follow this policy.

4. University Community members are empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy in an ongoing effort to enhance awareness of, and encourage compliance with a Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University.

5. Effective implementation of this policy relies on the courtesy, respect, and cooperation of all University Community members. If someone is seen using tobacco on University Property, an individual may inform the tobacco user of this policy and request that they comply.


A. A Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University implementation is augmented by an awareness and education campaign that includes but is not limited to:

1. Notification of the policy to current and prospective students and employees through communication available on Campus web sites, including the tobacco/smoke/ vape-free university web site ;

2. Notification of this policy during admission and enrollment processes for students and during New Hire Orientation (NHO) for faculty and staff, as applicable;

3. Communication during informational meetings, postings, and electronic notifications; and

4. Notification of Tobacco Cessation Assistance programming for students, faculty and staff.

B. Tobacco Cessation Assistance

1. The Campus is committed to supporting and assisting all students and employees who wish to stop using Tobacco Products. For members of the UH community who would like to consult about the benefits and need help remaining tobacco-free in class or at work, nicotine replacement products such as gum, lozenges and patches are available without a prescription (for a nominal charge) at the UH Pharmacy, located in the UH Student Health Center. Call 713-743-5151 for additional information.

2. A full listing of tobacco cessation resources is posted on the Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University web site, the UH Wellness Care for the Air web site, and other Campus-controlled communication resources as needed.

C. The Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University web site ( shall facilitate the distribution of information regarding the policy.


A. The Campus seeks to secure compliance of this policy by establishing a culture of cooperation, courtesy and mutual respect for the health of each individual in the community. Individuals may first seek compliance by respectfully informing any person who is smoking or using tobacco that the Campus, is a Tobacco/Smoke/Vape-Free University. An individual wishing to report a violation should follow procedures outlined in section B "Reporting Violations".

B. Reporting Violations –To report a staff, faculty or student in violation of this policy, refer to the associated numbered section below:

1. Staff – The Office of Human Resources to handle in compliance with MAPP 02.04.03 (Discipline and Dismissal of Staff Employees ) when the alleged violation is related to a staff member. Discipline for repeated violations may include corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

2. Faculty – The appropriate dean, when the alleged violation is related to a faculty member. Discipline for repeated violations may include corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

3. Students – The Office of the Dean of Students to handle in compliance with the Student Code of conduct, when the alleged violation is related to a student.


Texas Administrative Code Section 703.20 – Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Grants for Cancer Prevention and Research
State Office of Risk Management – Texas Enterprise Risk Management Guidelines- Section F: 6.1
MAPP 02.04.03 – Discipline and Dismissal of Staff Employees
Tobacco-Free Campus Web Site
Care for the Air – Tobacco Education and Resources


Issued: 03/09/2001
Last Reviewed/Revised: 05/04/2022
Responsible Office(s): Student Affairs