Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

We hope to have answered all of your questions.  Should you have a question that hasn't been answered below, please feel free to direct it to: tobaccofree@uc.edu

Tobacco Free UC logo
  • When was the Tobacco Free UC policy effective?
    • May 1, 2017
  • To whom does the policy apply?
    • This policy applies to 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.
  • What is included in “tobacco?”
    • 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.
  • Will the use of hookahs and other devices for smoking tobacco be permitted? Are electronic-cigarettes (e-cigs) permitted?
    • Using hookahs or any other device to smoke tobacco is prohibited. Additionally, using hookahs to smoke non-tobacco products also is prohibited. Using hookahs and other devices promotes tobacco use as an acceptable behavior, which is not acceptable at UC.          
    • E-cigs are not permitted. There is insufficient evidence that these devices positively affect smoking and they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as smoking cessation devices, therefore cannot be used on UC property. They contain tobacco flavoring and so are prohibited under our policy.
  • What are the boundaries of the university for the purposes of defining university property?
    • 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; 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.
  • Why go tobacco free?
    • 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.
  • Are there resources to help employees and students quit using tobacco?
  • How will UC enforce the tobacco free policy?
    • 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 community, 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.
  • My unit includes UC staff and student workers as well as several contracted (temp) employees.  Does the tobacco free policy apply to the contracted/temp employees?  How should I deal with a temp employee who is in violation of the new policy?
    • Yes, the Tobacco Free UC policy applies to temp/contracted employees on the same basis as it applies to UC faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors, volunteers, etc.  To begin with, you should make certain the temp/contracted employee understands the new policy.  If, after making the temp employee aware of the policy, he or she continue to violate it, you should reach out to Central Purchasing who manages the contracts with temp employment agencies.  Questions or concerns you have about the Tobacco Free UC policy and temporary employees may be submitted to tobaccofree@uc.edu.
  • I work for both UC and UC Health.  Is UC Health tobacco free?
  • 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?
    • 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.
  • An employee wants to attend a cessation class during their work hours.  How should this time away from work be addressed?
    • 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.
  • How can I ask questions or address concerns that I have about the tobacco-free campus policy?
    • Any questions pertaining to the tobacco-free and smoke-free campus policy can be submitted to tobaccofree@uc.edu.