DAVIS, Calif. — As announced by University of California President Mark Yudof earlier this week, a smoking ban on all UC campuses is scheduled to take effect beginning in 2014. The ban will include cigarettes as well as all other tobacco products and will restrict smoking in all areas including outdoor spaces, parking lots and private residences.
Although it is reported that only 8 percent of UC students and 10 percent of employees smoke, it appears to be much larger when actually in the confinement of a campus. “At least a quarter of my core group of friends smoke,” said UC Davis student Linh Tran.
Many students agree that the ban is a welcome attempt, but may be only that: an attempt. After all, the current ban of not smoking within 20 feet of entrances, exits, or operable windows of a public building is rarely enforced. When questioned about the likelihood of success of the ban Tran responded, “There are so many smokers on campus. It will be too hard to enforce.”
Supporters of the ban, however, are holding a more optimistic view. “Virtually nobody starts smoking after age 24 or 25,” Dr. Stanton Glantz, director of UC San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control
Research and Education said. “If you can get people through the college ages and a little bit past, and they’ve either not started or they’ve stopped, then they’re pretty well taken care of.”