UT System Administration complex to be smoke- and tobacco-free

Madlin Mekelburg

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announced that all System Administration buildings in Austin will be smoke- and tobacco-free, starting March 15.

Cigarroa made the announcement Tuesday in an email to System employees. He said the decision is part of the System’s health and wellness initiatives. 

“While I recognize the freedom of choice to use tobacco or smoking products, there is overwhelming support among our employees for our entire work environment to be smoke- and tobacco-free,” Cigarroa said in the email. “I am happy that, along with many of our other institutions, UT System Administration is taking this step to improve the health of Texas, and hope that you will join my excitement in our commitment to complete wellness for all UT System Administration employees.”

In the email, Cigarroa said all parking garages and common outdoor areas owned by the System Administration will have to comply with the new policy. He said the Office of Employee Services will assist in the transition by providing resources on how to shift to a smoke-free campus. 

According to Sarah Pekar, administrative project coordinator in the System Office Employee Benefits, all System health institutions are smoke- and tobacco-free. Pekar said all System academic institutions are either smoke- and tobacco-free or just smoke-free, except for UT-Tyler — where smoking is permitted in designated areas — and UT-El Paso.  

Last week, Cigarroa announced he will be resigning as chancellor and joining the pediatric transplant team at the UT-Health Science Center at San Antonio after his resignation.