Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions are explained below. If there is a question that hasn't been answered, please direct it to

Effective May 1, 2017, smoking and tobacco use (including chewing, and electronic cigarettes) is prohibited by students, staff, faculty, visitors, vendors, and contractors at all times in or on University of Cincinnati properties. 

This policy applies to anyone who is on any UC campus, including the entire UC community, including but not limited to students, employees (faculty, staff, and administrators), trustees, visitors, volunteers, vendors, and contractors who are on property and facilities owned or operated by UC.

Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or tobacco-containing products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, vaporizing devices, cigars and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, pipes, oral tobacco (e.g., spit and spitless, smokeless, chew or snuff) and nasal tobacco (e.g., snus). It also includes any product intended to mimic tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring or the smoking of any other substance which delivers nicotine.

Using hookahs or any other device to smoke or that mimics tobacco is prohibited. Additionally, using hookahs to smoke non-tobacco products also is prohibited. 

The boundaries include any property owned, operated or leased by UC. This includes and is not limited to all buildings and structures, sidewalks, parking lots and garages, walkways, attached parking structures, and university owned, operated or leased vehicles. This policy also applies to most public through streets that are within campus boundaries.

Smoking is one of the largest causes of illness and premature death in the United States. Research findings indicate that nonsmokers who are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke are also at increased risk of illness. Furthermore, the university has substantial commitments to health-related research, teaching and patient care. Thus, the university community has a particular obligation to be sensitive to health-protection issues.

The university’s vision for the enforcement of the tobacco free campus policy is one in which a tobacco free campus is viewed as the shared responsibility of all those in the campus communities, tobacco users and non-users alike.

Individuals are encouraged and empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy in an ongoing effort to support individuals to be tobacco free, improve individual health and encourage a culture of compliance; however, substantiated chronic violations are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Yes, the Tobacco Free UC policy applies to temporary or contracted employees on the same basis as it applies to UC faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors, volunteers, etc. You should first notify any and all temporary or contracted employee(s) of the policy. If, after making the employee(s) aware of the policy, they continue to violate it, you should reach out to Central Purchasing who manages the contracts with the employment agencies. Questions or concerns you have about the Tobacco Free UC policy may be submitted to

Yes, UC Health has a tobacco free policy as well. Questions regarding the UC Health policy should be addressed to UC Health.

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.

As stated in the question above, breaks of 20 minutes or less should be counted as hours worked, and employees should not be required to clock out.  If the time away from work exceeds this, all employees should discuss flexing time with their supervisor and non-exempt employees should clock out during this time.  It is encouraged that supervisors support and respect employees’ efforts towards their health and well-being.