University of Utah to enforce tobacco free policy

The University of Utah's U. Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 4, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah has joined more than 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide that have gone 100% smoke and tobacco free.

“In accordance with the university’s effort to promote a healthy, tobacco-free environment for our students, staff, faculty and visitors, Rice-Eccles Stadium will no longer provide smoking areas during public events or Utah Football games,” said a news release Wednesday from the U of U.

The Tobacco Free Campus policy will also apply to events at the Jon M. Huntsman Center and is effective immediately.

“An initiative driven by students, the policy asks that while on campus, individuals refrain from using tobacco products including e-cigarettes, vape pens, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco or any other nicotine product,” the news release said. “However, FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products are allowed (e.g. nicotine gum, inhalers, lozenges and patches).”

The campus community and fans were given a year to learn more about the rule and the cessation services offered through the university’s Student Health Services, Employee Assistance Program and health wellness programs.

The proposition was first brought to the U’s attention in 2010 by the Associated Students of the University of Utah and underwent several years of discussion, the news release said. In 2016, the charge was taken up again by a group of students with the help of a committee that included faculty, staff, health care providers and students.

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“The policy is in effect seven days a week, 24 hours a day and applies to all individuals,” the news release said. “No smoking boundaries include any property owned, leased or controlled by the university such as buildings, vehicles, parking lots, residential and recreational areas, athletic venues, streets, sidewalks, hospitals and clinics.”

View the campus map for university boundaries.

What does this mean for football fans?

Unlike previous seasons, the smoking sections located around the perimeter of the stadium will be gone. In addition, there will be no re-entry to the stadium. Once a ticket has been scanned, its owner will not be able to exit and reenter the gates with the same ticket. Hand stamps, wrist bands or other re-entry options will not be available.

You can find more info on the tobacco initiative here.

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