The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute in Texas announced earlier this month, a new tobacco-free policy for all current and future grants, which includes Texas and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of the entrances to the buildings on campus.
Taylor Eighmy, Vice President for Research at Texas, said the university received about $ 1 million from the institute since it was found, and hoped to get so much more.
“You can certainly understand why CPRIT would do something like this. Cancer is a terrible disease and it affects so many people. Relations between tobacco and cancer are very clear,” said Eighmy. “It’s probably not the first time (s), such as CPRIT, which distributes research dollars to help the fight against this disease in the implementation of these kinds of rules. We understand this and we will abide by this rule. It does not surprise us “.
Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2007, the creation of CPRIT and authorizing the state provides $ 3 billion in bonds to fund innovative cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas.
CPRIT has funded 364 awards for cancer research, commercialization and prevention since 2010, according to its website. Recipients CPRIT awards include 66 academic institutions, nonprofit organizations and private companies, all located in Texas.
The new policy applies to all institutions, organizations or companies that receive grants from CPRIT equal to or greater than $ 25,000 during the fiscal year. Tobacco-free policy covers all types of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco.
This rule requires the prohibition of tobacco products to employees and visitors to buildings and structures, where the CPRIT-funded projects will be held, as well as sidewalks, parking lots, walkways and parking structures attached in close proximity to the degree of CPRIT-funded Company owns leases or controls.
Texas Tech should be a review of current policy work, which requires the approval of Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, Eighmy said.
Tobacco-free policy will affect only the buildings, which conducts research funding CPRIT. Eighmy said the five buildings will be free of tobacco, including civil engineering, human sciences, agriculture and experimental sciences.
Details of compliance policies can not be made public until they are completed after the Board of Regents meets in March, Eighmy said.
Eighmy said the ban on tobacco town wide is a hot topic, but for now, the University pays special attention to this policy.
“I think it’s obvious that people can think and talk,” he said. At the moment … I think we will use it more than the entire scene mode. We are going to meet your specific requirements, which allow us to meet CPRIT (policy). ”
Student response to
Clint Elliott, a senior non-smoker, said that tobacco-free policy sounded good to him, until he realized policy include smokeless tobacco.
“I think it’s kind of dumb. Smokeless tobacco is not doing anything. I think it gives you a gum cancer, but it’s rare,” he said. “I think I’ll stay away from these buildings.”
Nelly Vanderhagen, a freshman who does not use tobacco products, said she believes that the new policy is a sound idea, but said she does not necessarily agree with him.
“Passive smoking is not good. I do not want to be around smokers. It’s a good idea for the environment and health…. I think they have the freedom to smoke (where they choose) within certain limits. Doors limit is good idea, but it should not change just because (Tech) receives funding. ”
Shely Miller, Senior Tech, said she had been smoking for almost three years. She said that CPRIT policy makes sense, and she has no problems with the rules. Before she became a smoker, it is annoying when people walk on it and blew into her face, she said.
It is not that the other student smokers will feel the same.
“The Human Sciences building, I do not think it will fly there,” she said. “There are a lot of smokers out there. They are always in front of the building. This is sort of their own culture. I guarantee many of these people will be upset.”
Howard Monsour, a senior who smoked outside the Arts Building on Thursday, said smoking since he was 13 years old.
Monsour said he believes he has the right to do what he wants and he should be able to smoke where he wants, but he understands the reasons for the new policy. However, he did not believe all smokers will comply.
“I think, frankly, people are smoking (in the tobacco-free areas). People who want to smoke in any case,” said Monsour. “We have laws, and there are always people who violate them.”
Doug STOCCO, executive vice president of research for the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, said CPRIT awarded the HSC agencies more than $ 16.2 million since its inception, but the HSC will not depend on the new policy.
TTUHSC first issue of smoke free policies in all owned / managed buildings in September 1989. In September 2000, a change in policy was published, which makes building a tobacco-free environment since January 1, 2001. This policy prohibited the use of tobacco in TTUHSC facilities and in any place in any TTUHSC campus.
“CPRIT announcement was not a problem for us. We have been in compliance for at least 10 years,” said STOCCO. “People thought that agriculture should not prevent the promotion of healthy things.”
The current policy of HSC will be presented to the Board of Regents for approval at the next meeting, in accordance with the requirements of CPRIT, he added.
“We’re still ahead of the curve on all this. We really,” STOCCO said. “The reason is that in the late ’90s and early 2000s, we were very, very vibrant group here that was anti-smoking”.
Donna Bacchi, Lubbock doctor and wife of former Chancellor of Technology, David Smith, at the head of the center of HSC to prevent smoking, STOCCO said. The group is responsible for the smoking ban by many local restaurants, he said.
Another requirement of the new instrument of policy CPRIT funded are required to provide or refer to the use of tobacco cessation services to employees.
Eighmy said Tech employees who are interested in stopping the service can contact the staff to get directions.
STOCCO said Bacchi and her team also put in place HSC tobacco intervention program, services provided to individuals who want to quit smoking.
Because nicotine is addictive, like other drugs, those who try to quit smoking should have a plan and procedures for removing dependence, STOCCO said. Intervention program gives people that plan, he said.
“I 100 percent agree with the new policy ….” STOCCO said. “I do not think (CPRIT) uses it as a strong arm tactic, but looking at him any group of research and work to prevent cancer should have a policy, because we know the dangers of cigarettes and cancer. I welcome their efforts, and I think they’re right on the money. ”