The University of California has proposed a plan that would permanently smother cigarette smoke, but UC Merced students including Diana Gonzalez aren’t worried.
Gonzalez, 18, supports the plan to make all UC campuses smoke- and tobacco-free.
She knows from personal experience that the effects of smoking can be deadly and devastating.
“I personally think it’s perfect, because I have family history where they smoked, and my grandma died because of lung cancer (and) brain cancer,” she said.
The plan to ban smoke and chewing tobacco at all campuses and buildings in the system was announced two weeks ago by UC President Mark Yudof and has met little to no resistance.
The measure goes into effect in 2014.
At UC Merced, smoking already is prohibited inside buildings. There are designated smoking areas outdoors. The ban would apply to the entire campus, including buildings, parking lots and residence halls, said Mary Miller, vice chancellor for administration.
“We have two years to implement it,” she said, adding that a campus task force will be established “to see what would be the best way to move forward.”
The UC president’s office didn’t say if there would be disciplinary measures for people who break the new rule, Miller said. She believes that decision will be made by each campus.
Miller said she doesn’t know how many smokers there are at UC Merced.
It’s difficult to tell whether the ban will be a good move for the campus. It will be hard on smokers, she said, but “certainly, if it improves the health of the campus’s constituents, it would be good.”