UCLA got a jump on the rest of the University of California system this week, announcing plans to go tobacco-free starting April 22.
The campus will ban cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco in what UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a news release was part of his goal is to become the nation’s healthiest college campus. UCLA plans to provide help to tobacco users who want to quit.
In a Jan. 9, 2012, letter UC President Mark Yudof asked the system’s chancellors to form a committee that would implement a smoke-free policy, indoors and out, in two years.
The UC Davis Health System went smoke-free in 2008. The Davis campus is also well on its way to a total ban, according to a campus spokesperson.
State law and UC greatly restrict smoking on campus: It is banned from UC-owned and -leased buildings and smoking is not allowed within 25 feet of entrances and exits, stairs and passageways, courtyards, air intakes and operable windows.
UCD also prohibits smoking in outdoors seating areas, in residence halls and the Orchard and Solano Park apartments, near playgrounds and within 25 feet of buildings, courtyards, walkways, patios or balconies.
While Yudof gave campuses leeway on implementation, he specifically called for a ban on smokeless tobacco products and unregulated nicotine products, like e-cigarettes, as well as a ban on the sale or advertising of tobacco products in UC-owned or occupied buildings.
At the time of Yudof’s letter, 586 college campuses nationwide had gone smoke-free, as had UC’s four other medical centers.