Education

UCLA uses Earth Day to implement tobacco ban

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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UCLA has taken of advantage of Earth Day this year to enact a ban on tobacco use, joining more than 1,000 other colleges and universities across the country that have also taken action against tobacco.

The ban would require students to find a new place to light up their “cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco and all other forms of tobacco, as well as e-cigarettes,” according to UCLA.

“Implementing a tobacco-free policy beginning on Earth Day will underscore the benefits that this new policy will bring to the wellbeing of our entire community,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block in a letter to the campus community. “This is the right time to go tobacco-free.”

“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,” Block added. “It is important to protect our community from these serious health risks and adverse environmental effects.”

UCLA is the first of the University of California campuses to go tobacco-free. Students who use tobacco will also be provided with services to help kick the habit. For example, tobacco users can get nicotine patches and free counseling, and participate in wellness programs.

“Becoming tobacco-free,” Block said, “is integral to our ultimate goal of becoming the healthiest college campus in the country.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the announcement that UCLA will be made smoke-free came in October, after UC President Mark Yudof called for a tobacco ban throughout the UC system by 2014.

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