UC Santa Barbara Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for a printable PDF file of these FAQs.
Why did UC Santa Barbara adopt a smoke-free and tobacco-free policy?
In a January 9, 2012, memo to all UC Chancellors, President Yudof tasked all UC campuses with implementing a smoke-free policy by January 2014. As a leading education, research, and service university, UC is taking a proactive role in addressing the impact of smoking and tobacco use on both the smoker/tobacco user and the non-smoker/tobacco user.
When does the final UC Santa Barbara Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free policy go into effect?
The policy became effective on January 1, 2014.
Whom does the policy affect?
The policy affects anyone who is on property (indoor and outdoor spaces) managed by UC Santa Barbara, including students, staff, faculty, contract/other employees, visitors, volunteers, contractors, and service representatives.
What is prohibited by the UC Santa Barbara Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free policy?
- smoking (tobacco or tobacco-free products, that might be smoked via cigarettes, pipes, water pipes, and hookahs)
- smokeless tobacco (including snuff, snus, and chew)
- unregulated nicotine products (such as electronic cigarettes)
Why are electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) included in this policy?
The FDA does not consider e-cigarettes to be a safe nicotine delivery system or smoking cessation, and their use is prohibited on University property for purposes of this policy. However, other forms of approved nicotine replacement therapy such as gum and patches are strategy allowed. Click here for more information regarding e-cigarettes.
What additional restrictions are included in this policy?
The sale or distribution of smoking, tobacco, and unregulated nicotine products on or within UCSB-managed property is prohibited. Additionally, advertising smoking, tobacco, and unregulated nicotine products in University publications and within UCSB-managed property is prohibited.
Why is smokeless tobacco included in this policy?
- Smokeless tobacco spit is considered hazardous and contains at least 24 carcinogenic chemicals.
- Spit tobacco often creates unwanted hazardous waste and byproducts, which campus maintenance staff members then have to dispose of.
- A dip of smokeless tobacco typically contains 3-5 times more nicotine than a cigarette. Research shows that smokers have difficulty switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco. Instead, many become dual users of both cigarettes and smokeless products – increasing the addiction.
- Smokeless tobacco use is a precursor to cigarette use. Specifically, adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Environmental concerns. Smokeless tobacco still uses the same tobacco manufacturing methods that cause deforestation, soil erosion, and poverty.
Is there anywhere I can smoke or use tobacco?
Neither smoking nor the use of tobacco products are permitted in any indoor or outdoor spaces managed by UC Santa Barbara. Once outside the boundaries of UCSB-managed properties, smoking and tobacco use is subject to local jurisdiction.
Where are the UCSB-managed properties?
Click here for a map of the local UC Santa Barbara property areas. Note: Faculty-owned housing in both West Campus Point and Ocean Walk are exempt from the policy.
Can I smoke or use tobacco in my personal vehicle?
Smoking/use of tobacco is not permitted in your personal vehicle, whether parked or in motion, if the vehicle is located on UCSB-managed properties.
Are there designated smoking areas on campus?
Effective January 1, 2014, UC Santa Barbara became a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus. Smoking areas/shelters are not designated on any UCSB-managed properties.
How will the policy be enforced?
The enforcement of this policy will be initially educational, focusing on 1) informing all members of the UC Santa Barbara community and campus visitors of this new policy, and 2) cessation resources.
Campus visitors will be asked to comply with the policy or leave campus.
The administration and UCSB Smoke-Free Steering Committee will review these enforcement strategies after the policy takes effect and determine if further enforcement protocols are necessary.
How will people know that UC Santa Barbara is a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus?
Signage indicating that UC Santa Barbara is a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus will be posted at key points across campus including building entrances and exits and in parking lots.
How should I approach someone who is violating the policy?
Respectfully approach the individual and inform them that as a system-wide policy, all UC Santa Barbara staff, faculty, students, visitors, and guests are required to follow it. Then ask them politely to comply. Refer them to the website (http://tobaccofree.ucsb.edu) for further information regarding cessation resources.
Can I anonymously report violations?
In order to report areas where you repeatedly see smoking/tobacco use/nicotine use, please use the anonymous reporting tool.
Where can I receive assistance in quitting smoking? Where can I refer someone who expresses an interest in quitting smoking?
- Students can enroll in the UCSB Alcohol & Drug Program called "Call it Quits: Stop Smoking" and work with a Tobacco Cessation Specialist who will help the student make a plan and stay motivated in their efforts to quit tobacco use.
- Staff and Faculty can enroll in Environmental Health & Safety Smoking Cessation classes. Additionally, various UC Health Plans have resources to aid in tobacco cessation.
- Students, Staff, and Faculty can refer to external resources noted on the "Smoking Cessation Resources" webpage (http://tobaccofree.ucsb.edu/cessation).
If an employee chooses to continue to use tobacco and does not have enough time during breaks to step off campus, how does the supervisor respond?
The University is aware that nicotine is a highly addictive drug and waiting until lunch or after work will be extremely difficult for some. Employees are encouraged to work with a health care provider to determine the best nicotine replacement measures to use when it is inconvenient to smoke.
Don't I have a right to smoke or use tobacco products on campus?
No; there is no "right" to smoke or use tobacco products under either state or federal law. Providing a smoke-free and tobacco-free environment on campus-managed properties does not prohibit individuals from smoking or using tobacco products off campus. Additionally, prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products on campus preserves everyone’s right to breathe clean, smoke-free air while allowing adults who smoke and use tobacco to continue to do so off campus. This decision supports the rights and privileges of both smokers and non-smokers alike.
What is the percentage of faculty, staff, and students who smoke or use tobacco at UC?
According to UCOP, approximately 10% of UC employees smoke, below the state average of 12% and well below the national average of nearly 20%. Around 8% of UC students smoke, compared with the national average of 16%.
Are there any other colleges or universities with smoke-free and tobacco-free policies?
Yes. According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, there are now at least 1,127 100% smoke-free campuses, and of these, 758 have a 100% tobacco-free policy.