Our campus has officially become smoke-free and tobacco-free as of Earth Day, April 22, 2013. The new policy states that the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and all other tobacco products, as well as electronic ciggarettes, is prohibited on UCLA's campus and at sites owned or fully leased by the university.
While UCLA is the first UC campus to go tobacco-free, more than 800 colleges and universities nationwide have already adopted tobacco-free or smoke-free policies. UCLA's health sciences campus and hospitals instituted a smoke-free policy in November 2011, with good results thus far.
UCLA's policy emulates the best practices of other universities' tobacco-free programs, which have led to an increase in the number of people quitting smoking, said UCLA nursing professor Linda Sarna, chair of the Tobacco-Free Steering Committee and an oncology nurse with international expertise in tobacco-control policies. Sarna helped develop the tobacco-control policy adopted by the International Council of Nurses and was also involved in the UCLA Health System's successful smoke-free policy.
"We're concerned about exposure to secondhand smoke, but this is also about tobacco-caused diseases," said Sarna, who chairs UCLA's Academic Senate. "The world is changing. People didn't used to wear seatbelts or bike helmets, and they used to smoke in airplanes and restaurants. But we know more than we did in the 1950s, and we have to act. We have a responsibility to the health of our campus, and this is the right thing to do."
A 2010 survey across eight UC campuses found that approximately 8 percent of undergraduates over the age of 18 had used tobacco products during the previous month.
By starting the tobacco ban on Earth Day, UCLA also drove home the message that the issue isn't just personal health but the health of the environment. Toxic tobacco smoke degrades air and water quality, while cigarette butts account for nearly one-third of all the litter in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health's Tobacco Control Program.
Source: No smoking allowed: UCLA to go tobacco-free in April, Daily Bruin,10/20/12