UCLA is joining the smoke-free bandwagon.
Chancellor Gene Block announced today that the Westwood campus would go entirely no-smoking, even in its lush, outdoor quads, even outside its dorms, even on the sidelines of its practice football field. Lighting up will not be allowed anywhere on UCLA property.
And all this, he says, will start on Earth Day?!
Yep, Earth Day, April 22, 2013.
Block said he decided to move forward with the policy after his boss, UC President Mark Yudof, asked all campuses to go smoke free by 2014.
The rule will even apply to chewing tobacco and "smoke-free" electronic cigarettes, UCLA said in a statement.
UCLA is the first of the UC schools to announce its nixing smoking, but its earth sciences campus and hospitals already instituted just such a policy last November. And, the school notes, 800 other campuses across the nation have instituted similar rules.
Crazy. We heard you couldn't even be admitted to UC Santa Cruz or Humboldt State without first passing a bong-toking exam.
But seriously, UCLA says the policy won't be punitive -- that it won't be "policing" driven. The school says it just wants students -- nearly 1 in 10 smoke -- to be more healthy.
UCLA nursing professor Linda Sarna, chair of the campus Tobacco-Free Steering Committee:
Our policy will be that you don't have to quit -- you just can't smoke here.
We're sure some nightlife entrepreneurs in the Westwood area will be quick to welcome smokers.