October 30, 2012 / LA Times / — The days of lighting up a cigarette between classes or of a smoke break outside the dorm will soon be over at UCLA as the campus prepares to become tobacco-free.
Chancellor Gene D. Block said in a letter that tobacco products — cigarettes, cigars, oral tobacco and electronic cigarettes, among them — will be prohibited as of April 22.
“Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke remain the leading causes of preventable disease and death worldwide,” Block said in the letter. “Cigarette butts, which are non-biodegradable, account for one-third of all the litter in California. Cigarette butts and cigarette smoke are toxic and degrade the quality of our air, water, forests and beaches.
“It is important to protect our community from these serious health risks and adverse environmental effects,” he wrote.
The ban comes as part of a push across the UC system to eliminate tobacco use on campuses by 2014.
President Mark Yudoff said in a January letter that UC Medical Center and more than 500 university campuses nationwide already ban smoking, and the UC system — as a “national leader in healthcare and environmental practices” — should follow suit.