UC system bans tobacco

University of California will be smoke-free by 2014

The campuses of the University of California system will be entirely smoke-free by 2014 in an effort to protect students from secondhand smoke and prevent them from picking up the habit.

The ban, which UC President Mark G. Yudof announced on Jan. 9 via a letter to the university’s chancellors, will also include smoke-free products like chewing tobacco and the sale or promotion of any tobacco product on campus, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The new policy will be implemented in stages to allow a gradual transition without a firm deadline yet in place. The university’s current policy bans smoking within 20 feet of school buildings, but the new rules will go a step further and eliminate all designated smoking areas.

“Virtually nobody starts smoking after age 24 or 25,” said Dr. Stanton Glantz, director of UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. “If you can get people through the college ages and a little bit past, and they’ve either not started or they’ve stopped, then they’re pretty well taken care of.”