All UC campuses will become smoke-free

UC President Mark Yudof is requesting the entire University of California system become smoke-free over the next two years.

In a letter dated Monday, Yudof asked chancellors to form committees on their respective campuses to implement smoke-free policies within the next 24 months. UC spokesperson Steve Montiel said the letter was sent to chancellors via email Tuesday.

“As a national leader in healthcare and environmental practices, the University of California is ready to demonstrate leadership in reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” Yudof said in the letter. “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.”

Have a question for Yudof or the UC Berkeley administration regarding the proposal? Ask anyone a question via Your Direct Line.

Though Yudof acknowledged that the campuses will need to tailor their policies to fit their individual needs, he outlined some specific elements that must be part of each policy, including a uniform definition of what “smoke-free” means, applying the policy to all UC facilities,  focusing enforcement on education and banning the sale and promotion of tobacco products in all UC buildings.

Grace Crickette, the UC’s chief risk officer, said the intention of the smoke-free policy is to focus on wellness.

“Each campus will be developing their own policy, and as long as they’re moving forward in a positive direction, that’s really what we want,” she said. “Even after they implement it … it’s always going to be an ongoing challenge to help people live healthier.”

The policy outlined by Yudof follows a proposal submitted by a subcommittee on smoking of the UC’s systemwide wellness group. In the proposal, dated Oct. 25, the subcommittee recommended most of the policy guidelines established by Yudof in his letter.

All UC medical centers are already smoke-free, and the rest of the system will join 586 other college campuses in the nation that have become smoke-free, according to the proposal.

Read the full text of Yudof’s letter below.

J.D. Morris is the university news editor.

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  • I smoked for 30 years i am so happy to have Quit thanks for the article

  • What all you do-gooders don’t realize is If smoker = smoking then no smoking = no smokers of course.  You’re not changing behavior, you’re cheating millions of young people  who smoke out of the opportunity for continuing there education.  I am one of those students that smoke and quite college because of an enacted smoking ban and I think its just WRONG to be bullying around others just because a major doesn’t approve of what they are doing to themselves.

  • Save our lungs

    Smoke-free campuses- the new Norm!

  • Carol Denney

    A study published in February 2010 found that nicotine
    causes the formation of carcinogens when it reacts with nitrous acid – a common
    component of indoor air. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is exhaled
    by the user in a vapor cloud. Nicotine is a sticky substance that remains on
    surfaces for days and weeks, so the hazardous carcinogens continue to be
    created over time, which are then inhaled, absorbed or ingested.

    The UC system’s step toward smokefree, healthy air is long overdue. Over 600 campuses are already smokefree. I thought my alma mater was vying to be last place because of its love of tobacco grants. I am so thankful.

  • Anonymous


    Antismoking (and anti-alcohol) rear their heads in Nazi
    Germany, again as a point of the eugenics framework:

    It is important to note that the Nazis didn’t invent
    eugenics. It was popularized in America.
    German eugenicists (and Hitler) were students of American eugenics. There was a
    close relationship between American and German eugenicists and between American
    and German industrialists who were supporters/funders of eugenics. Antismoking
    (and anti-alcohol) didn’t suddenly appear in German society with Nazism.
    Eugenics ideas were gaining increasing influence in German society through the
    1920s. And California
    was a eugenics leader, performing more sterilizations – by far – than any other


    The current antismoking crusade was put into motion by the
    standard eugenics personnel (whether they are aware of it or not) – physicians, biologists, statisticians,
    behaviorists – with the same pompous, sanctimonious, social-engineering
    mentality, using the same abominable methods of denormalization/propaganda to
    achieve their deranged goals. Physicians attempting to play god is an
    invitation to disaster, as was demonstrated earlier last century.

  • Anonymous


    These current outdoor campus bans have nothing to do with
    health. They are a social-engineering exercise. The plan to ban smoking indoors
    and out, with medical and educational institutions leading the way as “exemplars”,
    was set in the mid-1970s, and years before the concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”:

    See Godber Blueprint


    It is extraordinary that Americans understand so little of
    their recent history. There were two major antismoking crusades last century –
    one in America,
    the other in Nazi Germany. Antismoking (and anti-alcohol) was pushed by both
    the Temperance and Eugenics Movements in America.
    The Eugenics Movement (led by physicians) was the far more influential, being
    promoted – falsely – as scientific and scholarly, and had the ear of the
    legislature. Eugenics is best known for its emphasis on the
    breeding/racial/heredity dimension. But it also has a behavioral dimension –
    anti-tobacco/alcohol, dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, and physical
    exercise. Eugenics views humans as no more than a “herd” that can be “engineered”
    along the physical/biological dimension. It is a dangerous philosophy in that
    it dispenses with most of the dimensions – psychological, social, moral,
    ideo-political, metaphysical – that make humans human. It erroneously reduces
    health to only a physical phenomenon.

  • Why ban e-cigs? They contain no tobacco and they don’t have second hand smoke. If you’re trying to promote a healthier lifestyle (based on the opening suggesting this is about health and environment) why wouldn’t you want people to use whatever safe means available to quit smoking? Are they going to ban patches and gum too? Maybe strip searches will be in order. 

  • Nanny State Nightmare

    Yudof’s brother in arms, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, seeks to curtail access to alcohol in NYC:
    Beware the Authoritarian Elitists. They fancy themselves better than you, that they are more qualified to run your life than you are. Such condescension.

  • Giffer

    YES!!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely hate those moments where I’m walking and suddenly I breath in a whiff of cig-smoke (disgusting). 

  • Jon Krueger

    Fantastic! Clean, safe air for students and the entire Cal community.

    • Get_real You Delusional_Loser

      Clean air… except for all that diethyl ether used on the open-bench in every section of organic lab performed in ‘teaching lab’ space w/o adequate ventilation b/c the facilities haven’t been renovated in 30 years. (The experiments are not performed in hoods so additionally this presents an enormous fire hazard.)
      CChem wants $30 million for those renovations, yet the Chancellor’s office diverted $78.7 million in 7 years from the instructional budget and gave it to Division of Intercollegiate Athletics – in violation of UC’s own policies.
      For what purpose? DIA must appear solvent so they could obtain $320 in debt financing to ‘renovate’ the stadium – a building sitting directly upon a seismically active fault. Mr. Nathan Brostrom, who arranged the financing deal, insists that the renovation complies w/ all relevant state safety laws regarding construction in an earthquake zone. This is a blatant lie: UC asked the legislature for, and was granted, an exemption from the Alquist-Priolo law which would otherwise have forbidden this construction on the basis of concern for public safety.
      In short, UC doesn’t give a flying fuck about student/public safety. This banning cigarettes is rank political/PR posturing – and you are just dumb enough to fall for it. Pathetic.

  • Carol Denney

    Electronic Cigarettes are NOT a safe alternative!
    In July 2009, the FDA released results of its analysis of certain electronic cigarettes,
    which is the first known analysis of these new products. The analysis
    found that the “e-cigarette” cartridges contain carcinogens,
    including nitrosamines, and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol.
    The FDA commissioner of food and drugs stated, “The FDA is concerned
    about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the
    public.” There is also concern that since e-cigarettes “have not been
    submitted to the FDA for evaluation or approval, at this time the
    agency has no way of knowing, except for the limited testing it has
    performed, the levels of nicotine or the amounts or kinds of other
    chemicals that the various brands of these products deliver to the
    user,” nor is any information known about the risks of inhaling
    secondhand vapor. To read more, see the FDA press release and their electronic cigarettes information page.

    • Anonymous

      There is a huge difference between SAFE alternative and SAFER alternative.  The level of tobacco-specific nitrosamines that the FDA found was 8.  This is the same level as the FDA-approved nicotine patch.  One Marlboro cigarette contains 11,800.  That is exponentially safer.

      8 vs 11,800

      To learn more, visit the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (not funded by Big Pharma or Big Tobacco).

    • This is odd fearmongering. I just checked out an e-cig website and you can choose exactly what level of nicotine you want.  Also, there isn’t going to be any greater risk of “second hand vapor” then there is when people breath on each other.  It isn’t smoke and isn’t tobacco. It’s sugar water. 

    • i agree

  • Anonymous

    Although I am sure this policy is well-intentioned, it appears that a bit of education is in order.  TOBACCO causes cancer.  Humans have used tobacco for centuries, in order to obtain the beneficial properties of NICOTINE, which is relatively harmless compared to the thousands of other chemicals like arsenic, formaldehyde, tar, and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke.  Since electronic cigarettes first appeared on the market there have been no reports of any serious adverse side effects.  In fact, Dr. Brad Rodu, University of Louisville,  has started a wonderful program called “Switch & Quit” Owensboro.  Rather than banning the safer alternative, residents are encouraged to put down their tobacco cigarettes and replace them with harm reduction alternatives, such as electronic cigarettes and Swedish Snus.

    Taking a common sense approach to educate smokers about safer choices makes sense.  Banning the safer choice forces e-cig users to hide behind a closed door to “vape”.  This is easily accomplished, however, since the vapor does not behave like smoke (no combustion, no smoke).  There is no lingering odor and the vapor dissipates within seconds.  Unlike traditional FDA-endorsed Nicotine Replacement Therapies, hard core smokers are able to not only stop smoking, they are discovering that by using this innovative device, they no longer have any desire to smoke.  My 36-year pack-a-day habit was stopped in it’s tracks virtually overnight once I started to use an electronic cigarette.   I urge the University of California to rethink this ban.  It is at best unenforceable, but at it’s worst, it will encourage smokers on campus to continue to smoke, rather than turn to an exponentially safer alternative.

    • Jon Krueger

      What you don’t mention: Rodu has accepted funding from smokeless tobacco vendor UST. $1.25 million.

    • those electric cigarettes are not safe

  • I’m an E-cig user .. for this ban to include  E-cigs  is ridiculous. E-cigs DO NOT produce smoke its vapor! 
    I love the part were Mark  Yudof said “Enforcement should be Primarily educational, with an emphasis on cessation.” Most of the marked Quit smoking products  have been known to be unsafe like Chantix!!

  • crusty

    not merely about controlling cigarette smoking but about control about making peoples park u.c. berkeley free?

  • Gagmewithanicotinepatch

    ‘wellness’, just another bullshit buzzword stripped of meaning by the bureaucrats.