UTSA celebrates 5 years tobacco free


Jewel Uzquiano

UTSA is celebrating 5 years of being a tobacco-free campus. The process began with an initiative by the UT system for a tobacco-free policy that went into effect at UTSA in 2014. This ended the previous policy at UTSA: Smoking and tobacco were only allowed on surface parking areas.

“This policy is a shared responsibility of all members of the campus community,” Joe Izbrand, associate vice president for communications and marketing and chief communications officer, said.

Students and other members of the community can find the university policy stated in section 9.36 of the Handbook of Operating Procedures, and, according to the policy, violations can be reported to the UTSA Police Department on campus.

“UTSA observes all local, state and federal laws concerning tobacco use prohibitions,” Izbrand said.

Regulations on tobacco use are increasing in San Antonio. June 1 marked the beginning of a San Antonio policy banning the use of tobacco products in all parks and plazas owned by the city. On Sept. 1, a Texas law raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old.

Students caught using tobacco products on campus are referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Employees are reported to the Office of Institutional Compliance. UTSA Health Services offers services to help students and employees quit tobacco products. These include free individual tobacco cessation consultations that are available to all students who are currently registered.

Students can call 210-458-4142 to schedule an appointment for consultations with a health educator. Faculty and staff can receive cessation support through the UT Select Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance as well as the Employee Assistance Program called Deer Oaks. Members of the UTSA community are encouraged to utilize these services as needed.