LA JOLLA, Calif. – The right to smoke at the University of California San Diego and other University of California Schools will soon be extinguished.
UC San Diego will go tobacco and smoke-free sooner, starting September 1, 2013.
“This will contribute to a healthy environment for all staff, students, faculty and visitors,” said Karen Calfas, Vice Chancellor in charge of wellness-related services at UCSD. “Quitting smoking is the single most important health behavior people can change to improve their health.”
“I think it’s good,” said Carlos Auyon, a recent graduate of UCSD. “I think it’s healthier for the rest of us that don’t smoke.”
Currently smoking is not allowed in campus buildings on campus or within 25-feet of an entryway. But it is allowed in parking lots and on campus sidewalks.
“I don’t smoke,” said Shawn Messner, a student at UCSD. “I think it’s wrong to smoke.”
Even so, Messner, who is a member of Young American For Liberty, said he is against the smoking ban. He is more concerned with protecting an individual’s rights.
“I think it comes down to how I want to run my own life,” said Messner. “How you want to run your own life.”
Calfas said enforcement will be educational in nature, not punitive.
“If we see someone breaking the new policy on campus, people will be encouraged to let them know about the policy and ask them to comply,” said Calfas.
According to a study done in 2010, 14-percent of UCSD students smoke. Mike Valencia is one of them. He said he doesn’t think the ban will work since smokers already ignore smoking regulations on campus.
When asked if the ban would stop him from smoking, Valencia laughed and said no.