UCLA officials ban tobacco use on campus

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UCLA officials ban tobacco use on campus

Photos Courtesy of Google Images

Photos Courtesy of Google Images

Photos Courtesy of Google Images

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The University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor, Gene D. Block, recently announced that all tobacco products will be prohibited on the UCLA campus as of April 22, 2013.  This ban is part of a new requirement, created by UC President Mark Yudof, that all UC campuses eliminate the sale, advertisement and use of tobacco products by 2014.  UCLA will be the first of the 10 UC campuses to impose the ban.

Among the products explicitly banned are cigarettes, cigars, oral tobacco and electronic cigarettes.  As well as being prohibited on the campus, these products will also be banned at all sites fully leased or owned by UCLA.  Enforcement of the new policy at UC schools will vary from campus to campus.

In order to aid student smokers at UCLA who may struggle with the new policy, resources will be available on campus to help these individuals quit smoking.  Smokers will have access to free nicotine replacement starter kits and peer counseling to deal with the psychological effects of quitting smoking.

UCLA officials created the policy because of the health risks associated with smoking.  According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, each year 443,000 deaths occur due to cigarette smoking, and tobacco related deaths account for one out of every five deaths in the United States each year.  Furthermore, everyday, over 3,800 people under the age of 18 their first cigarette, and 1,000 of these people eventually become daily cigarette smokers.  Illnesses related to the use of tobacco products is currently the most preventable cause of death in the United States.

Through the elimination of the use of tobacco products on university campuses, UC officials hope and expect that the number of deaths associated with smoking will continually decrease.  By prohibiting tobacco use on school grounds, officials also aim to prevent college students from becoming smokers.

Block also proposed this plan in order to reduce the amount of waste products associated with tobacco usage.  According to the New York Times, more than 25 percent of litter in cities is composed of cigarette butts.  Because UCLA is located in an urban area, this has become an increasingly prevalent issue for students and administrators who spend time in the area.

UCLA officials selected Earth Day to begin enforcing the ban in an effort to further enforce the central idea of becoming an eco-friendly campus.

Written by Emily Glavin – News Editor and Jessica Smith – News Editor

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