In July 2004, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler was the first hospital in our region to become a tobacco-free campus. The policy has been amended to include the prohibition of electronic nicotine delivery systems. We have a long history of caring for patients with lung diseases and now working to educate future public health leaders; we know firsthand the dangers of using tobacco.
Our policy prohibits the use of any nicotine/tobacco products on our campus including all forms of tobacco, whether smoked ( i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes) or smokeless ( i.e., chewing tobacco, snuff), electronic cigarettes ( i.e., e-cigarettes), products that may contain tobacco or nicotine, and vapor producing devices that mimic the appearance of smoking.
Effective March 1, 2019, all new hires, volunteers, trainees, and student employees will be tobacco-free at the time of hire, appointment, or acceptance. All candidates for employment will be required to sign acknowledgments indicating that they do not presently use and will not use nicotine or tobacco products throughout the terms of their employment. To ensure this policy, post-offer applicants, volunteers, and trainees will be screened for tobacco use to ensure they are tobacco-free as part of the pre-placement process. Via urine samples, the test will measure levels of tobacco chemical compounds. Should applicants fail the screening, offers of employment will be rescinded; however, individuals are welcome to reapply after 90 days. During that time, the University encourages individuals to enroll in a tobacco cessation therapy program from a provided list of resources.
While the new amended policy does not affect current employees, UTHSCT does aim to promote a healthy lifestyle among those individuals that partake in nicotine and tobacco product use. Free on-site smoking cessation programs and classes are readily available to assist and encourage individuals who wish to quit smoking or using tobacco/nicotine products. While the University realizes that the cessation process may require multiple attempts, UTHSCT is committed to these individuals and will continually work towards their matriculation through the cessation process.
Tobacco-Free Task Force
In response to the UT System Eliminate Tobacco Use Initiative, UT Health Science Center at Tyler has developed a tobacco-free task force that meets the 4th Monday of the month at noon. Dr. Paul McGaha leads the task force, and they explore best practices for policy, signage, and cessation services.