Policy

UC Merced Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy

Final Draft 
 
Responsible Departments: Human Resources, Student Affairs and Public Safety
Effective Date: Jan. 1, 2014
 
I.  Policy 
 
UC Merced prohibits smoking, the use of tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e.g. e-cigarettes) in all facilities and on all university-owned and leased properties, both indoor and outdoor. This policy applies to all members of the UC Merced community including faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, visitors and anyone on university-controlled properties.
 
The sale and advertising of tobacco products are also prohibited in University of California-owned and occupied buildings except for advertising in non-university newspapers, magazines or other written materials sold, bought or distributed on campus.  
Tobacco use is permitted for the following exceptions:
  1. Tobacco use for university-approved ceremonial purposes is allowed in a space designated for the ceremony.  Preapproval is required from the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.
  2. UC Merced Institutional Review Board-approved research, only if tobacco use is integral to the research protocol.
 
II. Background
 
The Surgeon General of the United States has determined that cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness and premature death in the nation. Moreover, research indicates that non-smokers who are regularly exposed to passive (secondhand) tobacco smoke are also at increased risk of illness. For these reasons, the Surgeon General has urged employers to implement broad-based health promotion programs with special emphasis on smoking cessation. The response to the Surgeon General's advice and the medical evidence has been an overwhelming trend toward protection of the health and safety of non-smokers. 
 
In January 2012, UC President Yudof mandated that the UC chancellors create a smoke-free environment on all UC campuses within 24 months.  Smoke-free was defined by President Yudof as meaning that smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e.g., “e-cigarettes”) are strictly prohibited in indoor and outdoor spaces, including parking lots and private residential space.
 
References: 
 
2. Smoking Policy Subcommittee of the Occupational Wellness Forum, (Oct. 25, 2011), Smoke-free Policy Proposal
3. California Government Code Sections 7596-7598, Smoking in State Buildings 
 
III. Compliance and Enforcement
 
Compliance is grounded in informing and educating violators about this policy. The first level of enforcement action will be to respectfully inform violators to comply with the policy.  Non-compliance and repeated violations of this policy are subject to corrective action under the Student Code of Conduct, Human Resources Policies and Procedures, other applicable University Regulations or Policies and citation and fines per California Government Code section 7597.1.  Visitors to campus who do not comply with this policy may be asked to leave. 
Non-compliant or repeat offenders will be referred to the appropriate supervisor/organization.  
 
There shall be no reprisal against anyone seeking assistance in enforcing this policy. 
 
IV. Cessation Resources
 
In addition to providing a healthy learning and work environment, the University is committed to supporting healthy behaviors. Anyone can access cessation support services by calling 1-800-NO-BUTTS.  
 
Additional assistance to UC Merced students who wish to overcome addiction to tobacco products is available through:
 
Student Health Services
H. Rajender Reddy Health Center
(209) 228-2273
 
Additional assistance to UC Merced faculty and staff who wish to overcome addiction to tobacco products is available through employee health benefit plans.