Tobacco-free policy took effect on January 1

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A ban on smoking on the UC Santa Cruz campus took effect on January 1, as the campus and other UC schools joined more than 1,000 universities and colleges nationwide that are making tobacco-free environments the new normal.

"All of our community members deserve a healthy place in which to learn, work, and live," UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal said. "I'm proud that our campus has taken this important step to implement a policy that I believe will benefit our entire community."

Then-UC President Mark Yudof announced two years ago that all 10 UC campuses would go tobacco-free by the beginning of 2014. The policy is expected to save lives by reducing tobacco-related deaths and diseases.

Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Research has shown that people are more likely to quit in a tobacco-free environment.

The new policy bans the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and all other tobacco products, as well as electronic cigarettes, indoors or outdoors on UCSC's campus and at sites owned or fully leased by the university.

UCSC's tobacco-free policy can be found here, as well as on our UCSC Smoke & Tobacco-Free web site at tobaccofree.ucsc.edu.

In implementing the new policy, UCSC Risk Services Director Saladin Sale said the campus's top priority will be to assist members of the community — smokers and nonsmokers — with this transition. Toward that end, the web site includes an information sheet, communication guides, and resources for helping faculty, staff, and students who wish to stop smoking.

"Cessation support services are available at the Student Health Center, in the surrounding community, and through UC medical plans," Sale added.

More information can be obtained by sending email to tobaccofree@ucsc.edu.