Tobacco Free UC - Effective May 1, 2017

Program Resources

free tobacco cessation series

There are many resources available to those who would like to work toward tobacco cessation.  Please use the information below to learn more about your options.

President Pinto with the Tobacco Free tRex

President Pinto supporting Tobacco Free UC with the T-Rex!

Please click the image below for a downloadable 1-page Resource Guide.

Tobacco Free UC Resource Guide


Share your feedback about live tobacco cessation sessions that will be held in 2018 by completing the survey below.

Timeline, Media and Enforcement Information

  • 2006: UC smoking policy enacted restricting smoking within 25 feet of all university building entrances, exits, windows, air intakes and vehicles on West Campus. A smoke-free environment shall be provided within the premises of the University of Cincinnati medical center.   
  • 2012: Ohio Board of Regents voted unanimously to make a strong recommendation to Ohio’s college and university trustees to ban tobacco products campus wide. 
  • October 2015: Student Government passed a tobacco-free campus resolution.
  • November 2015: Joint resolution passed by Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Governance Association regarding a tobacco-free campus.
  • January 15, 2016: Joint resolution presented to President’s Cabinet.

The enforcement of this policy will initially be focused on education - informing all members of the UC community and campus visitors of this new policy and sharing information about cessation resources (faculty/staff and students).

The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of tobacco users and non-tobacco users alike. University administration and Tobacco Free UC Steering Committee will review these enforcement strategies after the policy takes effect and determine if further enforcement protocols are necessary. All suggestions can be referred to the Tobacco Free Steering Committee at

Please remember that UC’s commitment to a tobacco free campus must be supported and embraced by all who live and work here.

Understand the definition of tobacco use.  For purposes of this policy, “smoking” has the same meaning as in section 3794.01(A) of the Revised Code, which is the inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking device for burning tobacco or any other plant.

Make a Plan to Quit. If you currently use tobacco, UC can help you kick the habit. Several tobacco cessation resources are available to you at no cost, such as classes, support, medications, and more.

Be respectful of the policy. Consider what having a tobacco-free campus means. If you use tobacco or vape, please show your respect for our community by not smoking or vaping on (or closely nearby) campus. Smoking/vaping on sidewalks or across the street is clearly not in the “spirit” of the policy. Openly smoking/vaping in these areas sends a message of disrespect to fellow faculty, staff and students in the UC community.

Show pride in our campus. UC is ranked as one of the most beautiful campuses nationwide and we are fortunate to work in such a picturesque environment. When UC becomes tobacco-free, receptacles will be removed to discourage smoking on campus. Throwing cigarette butts on the ground damages the environment and greatly diminishes the beauty of our campus. It also has a substantial impact on our maintenance staff who work so hard to keep our campus clean and beautiful.

Be safe. Throwing butts into bushes or smoking in wooded areas is a serious fire hazard. Please exercise safety and respect the policy by not smoking on campus.

Report hot spots. Tobacco use that is still occurring on campus is often localized in certain areas (hot spots).  If you notice an area of concern, you can report the activity to the Tobacco Free UC Steering Committee at this email address Additional signage may be added to those locations where smoking is reported to still be an issue.

Remind others that smoking/vaping is not allowed on our campus. Sample scripts and videos (see "Policy Resources" tab) are designed to help you approach smokers and inform them of the policy. Tobacco-free cards will also be available for distribution and provide a non-confrontational way to approach tobacco users (see "Policy Resources" tab).


  • Sample scripts
    • Sample scripts to assist students, faculty and staff in approaching smokers on campus have been developed.
  • Report Repeated Violations
    • Enforcement is everyone’s responsibility. If you notice a regular pattern of smoking (someone continuing to smoke in a tobacco-free area), you can report this activity via email at
  • TOBACCO FREE UC Cards - coming soon
    • Need information on quitting tobacco? Take a Card. Want to inform someone that UC is tobacco free? Give a card.


The University of Cincinnati strives to enhance the general health and well-being of faculty, staff, students, volunteers and visitors. We desire to support individuals to be tobacco free, achieve their highest state of health, and to graduate students into their careers at a high level of health and well-being.

One frequently asked question is how the Tobacco Free UC policy will be enforced. UC strives to create a culture that encourages compliance by promoting and supporting a healthy environment. Managers, when notified of policy violations, should strive to be non-confrontational and respectful of all members of our campus community, including tobacco users. Use this toolkit for guidance on how you can support this change, and navigating potential challenges with policy compliance.

Your Role

As a leader within your college/unit, you are a strategic partner in implementing this policy. Consistency in communicating the policy and addressing violations is imperative to the success of the initiative. Your role is to support the tobacco free initiative and to be the BEST leader:

  1. Be Informed: Educate yourself on the policy, FAQs, and resources.
  2. Educate: Communicate the policy courteously and non-confrontationally to faculty, staff, students, volunteers and visitors in your college/unit.
  3. Support: Connect your employees with appropriate resources, which include stress management, tobacco cessation, and nutrition and fitness.
  4. Take Action: Hold employees accountable and address matters of repeated violations consistently in the same manner as you would violations of other policies. It is important to assess the impact of the repeated violation in relation to the university’s values and expectations. Tobacco-use violations are not a vehicle to accelerate corrective action of problem performers. College/unit HR representative and Central HR’s Labor Relations Unit and HR Business Partners are available to consult on specific situations, as needed.

I have an employee who takes several smoking breaks during the day.  Because he/she now has to walk to a location off campus to smoke, his/her time away from work is longer than it was previously.  How do I manage the extended time away from work?

Additional Information/FAQ

While Ohio law does not have any lunch and break provisions for workers 16 and over, residents of the state should know that they are covered by several federal regulations.

Federal law does not mandate any specific meal or rest breaks. It does, however, give guidance as to whether or not an employee should be paid during these times. Short breaks (usually 20 minutes or less) should be counted as hours worked, and employees should not be required to clock out. True “meal periods” are usually 30 minutes or more, and do not need to be paid as work time. During an unpaid meal break, a worker must be completely free of his or her work duties. If the employee is still required to do any duties (even minor duties such as answering a phone), it can’t be considered a meal or lunch period and must be paid.

Non-exempt employees should not be required to clock out during break time of 15-20 minutes.  All employees (exempt and non-exempt) should be treated equally and should not be ‘monitored’ or ‘watched’ with respect to break times regardless of how time is spent during the break.

Supervisor Toolkit

We encourage you to download the Supervisor Toolkit which outlines resources, talking tips, how to respond to repeated policy violations, how to respond to concerns, where you can find help and a few scripts to use when approaching someone.

Committee Leadership & Information

Steering Committee Co-Chairs

Steering Committee Members

Steering Committee Members

Click image to download full committee listing.

  • Key for membership:
    • Faculty = (F)
    • Staff = (S)
    • Student = italicized
Tobacco Free UC Committee Member Listing

Meeting Minutes