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.”
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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.