UCs To Be Tobacco-free: Yudof Initiates Smoke-free Policy


Isabel Atkinson
Staff Writer

Photo by Hannah Davey

For the sake of student health, University of California President Mark G. Yudof has initiated a smoking ban on all 10 UC campuses that will come into complete effect within the next two years. The use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products and unregulated nicotine products will be prohibited on all UC campuses as well as on any property leased or owned by the UC system. For University of California Santa Barbara, this will include off-campus buildings owned by UCSB, like the Santa Catalina residence halls.

This effort to make UC campuses tobacco-free began as a result of successful bans in place on the UC Medical Centers and 586 other university campuses nationwide.

Although each UC Chancellor has been assigned to form a committee to determine the campus’ own rules and regulations, Yudof requires each campus policy to fulfill the same specifications. In addition to the prohibition of the use of tobacco products, the sale of such products on all university owned property will also be impermissible. The statement also bans tobacco advertisements from campus as well. As the main focus is to lower the number of young smokers, the final stipulation that loosely outlines an offender’s consequences revolves around educating students about the health risks of tobacco.

“They’ll be handed a little card with information on where they can seek help and get information about the dangers of smoking,” said Gracie Crickette, UC’s chief risk officer. She plays a major role in facilitating the groups that work together to address risk areas throughout the UC campuses.

The group launching the ban is the Smoking Policy Subcommittee of the UC system’s Occupational Wellness Group that attends to a variety of wellness issues for students and faculty.

Each campus must comply with the fundamental stipulations that were determined by the Wellness Group, but regulations and punishments will vary from campus to campus. Chancellor Yang is the designated coordinator for preordaining the UCSB campus smoke-free policy.

“I will be consulting with our administrators, faculty, students and staff on the formation of this committee and our next steps as we move forward with this task,” Yang said.

Within this committee, Yudof recommends including a member of the Smoking Policy Subcommittee to accomplish their goals to the fullest extent. The specifics for UCSB’s policy, including designated boundary lines and repercussions for neglecting to follow the new rules, will become apparent by 2014. Throughout this process, the UC administrators involved will continue to support and be available to advise in the procedure in hopes of making UC campuses safer for everyone.
“Offering a smoke-free environment will contribute positively to the health and well-being of all UC students, faculty, staff and our patients and visitors,” said Yudof in a letter to the Chancellors of each UC campus.

Although the consequences have yet to be determined, Yudof has made it clear that the focus of this new ban is not inherently to punish those who smoke cigarettes, but to lead and encourage students to stop.