Environmental Health, Safety And Risk Management

University of the Incarnate Word Smoking Policy

Special Message to the UIW Community

The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is committed to providing a safe, healthful working and learning environment for students, faculty and staff. As part of that commitment, the University will adopt a Smoke and Tobacco Free policy effective August 1, 2018 on all UIW U.S. property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the University.

The policy will prohibit the use of any smoking or tobacco products including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and hookahs but not including cessation products containing nicotine specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

According to a report by the Surgeon General, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disability, disease and death in the U.S. Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030 according to the World Health Organization’s WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011.

This policy applies to all employees, students, university affiliates, visitors and contractors.

On November 27, 2012, the UIW Executive Council approved a previous policy prohibiting smoking within buildings and outdoor sports facilities on the University campuses. Smoking was further prohibited within 20 feet of buildings, in University owned or leased vehicles or on the campuses of Incarnate Word High School or St. Anthony Catholic High School. Some smoking areas were designated.

The University regularly reviews policies to ensure they are meeting the needs of the community. Even after the last policy was enacted, the administration continued to hear concerns from the community regarding the smoking policy on campus. There is no risk-free level of tobacco smoke or secondhand smoke according to the Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke. Even the occasional use of tobacco has been associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

Read the full Smoke and Tobacco Free policy.

  • Why has UIW adopted a Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy?

    As a university, our goal is to provide a healthy environment conducive to learning and working. The purpose for this policy is twofold: (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on all University of the Incarnate Word campuses (includes all UIW U.S. property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the University) and (2) to encourage a healthier, more productive living/learning environment for all members of our campus community.

  • When will the policy be effective?

    The policy is effective August 1, 2018.

  • Were there any steps taken prior to the latest policy towards becoming a smoke and tobacco free campus?

    Yes, in 2012, we took the first step to becoming a smoke and tobacco free campus by prohibiting smoke and tobacco products inside our buildings and in our outdoor sports facilities. At that time, we designated smoking areas on campus, but our community still voiced concerns regarding smoking and secondhand smoke on campus. The new policy addresses those concerns. 

  • Are there other colleges or universities with smoke and/or tobacco free campuses?

    Yes, many college and university campuses are adopting smoke- and tobacco-free policies for the health of their communities. Locally, UTSA, Trinity, and all Alamo Colleges are smoke/tobacco free.

  • Which UIW locations are included under this policy?

    Every U.S. property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the University of the Incarnate Word is included in this policy including:

    • main campus
    • all athletic facilities
    • all professional school campuses and clinics,
    • all locations of the School of Professional Studies
    • all residence facilities (on and off campus)
    • all parking lots and garages (on and off campus)
    • Incarnate Word High School
    • St. Anthony Catholic High School
    • The McCracken House
    • UIW Sky Bridge
  • What products are prohibited by the policy?
     The policy defines prohibited smoking or tobacco products as any product including, but not limited to cigarettes of any kind, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and hookahs. Please note cessation products containing nicotine specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence are not included in this policy.
  • Are there any designated smoking locations on campus?

    No, there is no smoking allowed anywhere on any of UIW’s U.S. facilities.

  • Does the policy apply to residence halls?

    Yes, it has long been the policy that UIW’s residence halls are smoke and tobacco free.

  • May I smoke in my car?  What about in university vehicles?


    Smoking in private vehicles parked on campus property is banned under the policy. People may not smoke in their cars while parked on campus streets or in campus parking lots or garages.

    Smoking in university vehicles is prohibited.

  • Are there restrictions to smoking on the outside sidewalks along the perimeter of UIW locations?

    The sidewalks are city property and according to the city’s smoking ordinance smoking must be at least 20 feet away from any outdoor public transit area.

  • Does the policy include the Sky Bridge over Hwy 281?

    Yes, the Sky Bridge over Hwy 281 is included under this policy.

  • Does the policy apply to the property of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the Headwaters Sanctuary adjacent to UIW’s main campus?

    Yes, both the Headwaters at Incarnate Word and the property of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word which includes the Grotto, the Brackenridge Villa, the Blue Hole, the Chapel of the Incarnate Word, and the Headwaters Sanctuary have adopted similar smoke- and tobacco-free policies.

  • Does the Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy apply to university sanctioned activities or athletic events held off UIW property?

    No, the UIW policy would not apply off UIW property, however, activities or events off UIW property would be bound to the policies and regulations of the venue or facility in which the event is held.

  • How will the Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy be communicated and enforced?

    As this is a new policy, every effort will be made to communicate the policy to all existing students and employees through email, social media, and signage on campus. The policy will be conveyed to all UIW vendors and contractors at any of our locations. Moving forward, the policy will be communicated to all incoming students and new employees. Signage at the entrances to campus will clearly state that UIW is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. The policy will also be communicated to any group, company or organization utilizing our venues.

    Voluntary compliance with the policy is expected.   If you see someone violating the policy, you may politely remind them of the policy.  If the violation continues, you may report the violation online at:

  • What consequences will result from violation of the policy?
    • Students who violate this policy will be subject to the UIW student code of conduct disciplinary processes as defined in the Student Handbook.
    • Employees who violate this policy shall be subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal as outlined in the Employee Handbook, Chapters 7 and 11.
    • Visitors refusing to comply with the policy will be asked to leave campus.
  • Does UIW require me to quit smoking?

    While UIW does not require anyone to quit smoking, adherence to the policy is expected when on University property.

  • Where can I find help and information to stop tobacco use?
     Beginning June 1, UIW Health Services will:
    • Provide the tools necessary to effectively identify and assess tobacco use, treat tobacco users willing to quit, treat tobacco users who are unwilling to quit, and assist former tobacco users.

    Summarize the science-based methodology, research and clinical judgment used in developing these recommendations.

    • Assess the stage the tobacco user is at and provide information including the American cancer Society Quit line.
    • The American Cancer Society’s Quitline, 1-877-YES-QUIT (1-877-937-7848) incorporates five sessions of 15 to 30 minutes each, plus up to three additional sessions for callers who relapse. People who relapse are advised to review their reasons for wanting to quit and to bring their learning experience to bear on their next quit attempt
    • Utilize resources from MetLife EAP Smoking Cessation
    • Provide prescriptions for smoking cessations products and follow up with patients trying to quit.

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