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Tobacco ban’s educational nature draws mixed reactions from UCLA students


Second-year physics student Mike Wilensky smokes in front of Powell Library. Officials hope the campus-wide ban, which comes into effect today, will help promote a healthier campus.

Second-year physics student Mike Wilensky smokes in front of Powell Library. Officials hope the campus-wide ban, which comes into effect today, will help promote a healthier campus. Katie Meyers / Daily Bruin


Editor's Note

This story is part of the Daily Bruin’s ongoing coverage of UCLA’s tobacco ban, which is set to go into effect today.

Lindsee Bawahab does not plan to quit smoking anytime soon.

Even though a new tobacco-free policy ban will go in effect on campus today, Bawahab said she still plans to go through half a pack every day, maybe even a pack a day during midterms and finals season.

And because of the educational nature of the ban, she technically does not have to stop smoking on campus.

“I’m still going to smoke on campus,” said Bawahab, a fourth-year anthropology student. “But in secluded places to not bother anybody.”

The policy, which aims to educate people about the effects of tobacco, bans the use of tobacco through the use of pipes, water-based pipes, electronic cigarettes and cigars.

Because the ban is educational, people who violate the policy will not receive citations, said Linda Sarna, chair of the Tobacco-Free Steering Committee and professor of nursing.

Punishing people is not the aim of the policy – the primary goal is to ensure everyone is aware of the policy and the resources, she said.

Students who keep using tobacco on campus after repeatedly being told to stop would technically be violating school policy and the student code of conduct, Sarna said. She added that students could receive a warning, which means that the dean will give the student a notice stating the student’s behavior may have violated university policy or regulations. If the behavior is repeated, the student may be subject to further discipline, according to the UCLA student code of conduct.

Faculty and staff could be written up by their superiors for using tobacco on campus.

However, it is unlikely they would be fired for the violations, said Timothy Fong, associate professor of psychiatry and member of the Tobacco-Free Steering Committee.

Starting today, people can pick up informational cards in 3125 Murphy Hall and pass them out to people on campus who they see using tobacco. Sarna said she hopes that group pressure to not use tobacco on campus will help to enforce the policy.

One side of the card will explain UCLA’s tobacco-free policy, while the other side of the card will list resources for tobacco cessation on campus.

Peter Haffner, a graduate student studying world arts and cultures who was smoking outside the Charles E. Young Research Library Friday afternoon, said he does not think educational enforcement of the tobacco-free policy will be effective.

“I just don’t think (educational enforcement) is going to end (smoking on campus).” Haffner said. “Nicotine’s really addictive. People will find ways to smoke.”

Haffner said that he intends to quit smoking and that since the school is offering resources for students to quit the resources, it may aid him in his journey.

Sheida Karami, a first-year undeclared student and non-smoker, said she would not use the informational cards to give to smokers on campus. “I wouldn’t want to push my non-smoking beliefs on anyone.” Karami said.

She said she agrees with the ban. “I think it’s good I don’t have to walk into people’s smoke. It’s kind of inconvenient.” Karami said.

The University of California San Francisco has been tobacco-free since it removed its two designated smoking areas in 2008. Enforcement of the ban is still a work in progress, according to the UCSF website.

The UCLA Health System went smoke-free in 2011. Fong said he has seen fewer people smoking around the UCLA hospital and that some staff in the medical hospital have quit smoking after the ban was implemented.

Fong likened the UCLA campus to a home with rules people must follow to show respect for other members of the community.

“(UCLA) is our house. This our rule. You have to respect that,” Fong said.

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  • Ace

    –”Because the ban is educational, people who violate the policy will not receive citations, said Linda Sarna, chair of the Tobacco-Free Steering Committee and professor of nursing.”

    Then why the police told me they ARE giving out tickets?

    Yes I smoke, and I have no problem of banning tobacco use on campus, but at least designed smoking area?
    I never felt comfortable when there’s whole bunch of people. I believe there should be an understanding of smokers and non-smokers, respect each other?

    Bolter Hall had fire alarm sounded half an hour ago, there’s no fire, you know what it means. and it will not just be a transition, it will always be like that.

    what do you do when you are stressed out? Using nicotine patches? seriously? What’s so hard to have a designed smoking area somewhere in the corner or so?

    e-cigarettes are also banned, that’s the most annoying part.
    what’s the difference between e-cigarettes and nicotine patches in terms of ‘be healthy’?

    Not only do I hear faculty saying that they are going to find somewhere else for job, students are talking about transferring. oh yes, you can say that they are just talking.

    Personally, I feel ok if i’ll have to walk for couple minutes to go for a smoke. I thought about using e-cigarettes, which has no tobacco and even use zero-nicotine e-cigarettes, yet unfortunately, everything is banned other than the patches school is giving out(well i don’t know how to get one any ways.)

    I live off campus, I consider that’s the lucky part for me; but i study on campus all day long. I agree that I’m very stressed out as a math student, so please, tell me a way to relax? I know there’s CAPS we can go for free, and I am going there regularly, it helps, yet not a lot.

    If I don’t need to spend more than 30 hours on homework in the classes nor worried about getting B- even if I study more than 12 hours a day, I wouldn’t be so stressed. Oh yes you can say that’s because I am stupid, and i agree that I am, and that’s why I stay in library all day long, so that i can be a bit competitive with classmates. Yet banning smoking entirely, is basically asking me to get out of school asap after classes.

    Moreover, the worst department ever in ucla, aka transportation department, is not even giving me a parking permit. In my opinion, the school is making me, who want to focus on academic, to get out of here.

    At last,

    I feel happy about banning smoking on campus because I no longer need to see people get annoyed by smokers or someone just walking on the street smoking while a bunch of people are there feeling disgusted.

    HOWEVER, I think the so called “educational ban”, isn’t really educational since it’s just a lie that they are not giving out cites; and I think the goal of such “education” should be letting people understand that they should respect others, so go to smoking area if you need a smoke. Yet in fact, what you are doing, is telling us that there’s no understanding about respect yourself. How do you ‘educate’ people without having it yourself?

    and the last line I’d like to write to the leader of this ‘banning program’, though I don’t even remember her name since it doesn’t worth it: I do agree we need some sort of restriction on tobacco use, but not a ‘ban’ for everything. Not only I don’t see any problem of smoking when there’s no one aside, I can’t imaging why I can’t choose what my life should be without effecting others.

  • Ace

    –”Because the ban is educational, people who violate the policy will not receive citations, said Linda Sarna, chair of the Tobacco-Free Steering Committee and professor of nursing.”

    Then why the police told me they ARE giving out tickets?

    Yes I smoke, and I have no problem of banning tobacco use on campus, but at least designed smoking area?
    I never felt comfortable when there’s whole bunch of people. I believe there should be an understanding of smokers and non-smokers, respect each other?

    Bolter Hall had fire alarm sounded half an hour ago, there’s no fire, you know what it means. and it will not just be a transition, it will always be like that.

    what do you do when you are stressed out? Using nicotine patches? seriously? What’s so hard to have a designed smoking area somewhere in the corner or so?

    e-cigarettes are also banned, that’s the most annoying part.
    what’s the difference between e-cigarettes and nicotine patches in terms of ‘be healthy’?

    Not only do I hear faculty saying that they are going to find somewhere else for job, students are talking about transferring. oh yes, you can say that they are just talking.

    Personally, I feel ok if i’ll have to walk for couple minutes to go for a smoke. I thought about using e-cigarettes, which has no tobacco and even use zero-nicotine e-cigarettes, yet unfortunately, everything is banned other than the patches school is giving out(well i don’t know how to get one any ways.)

    I live off campus, I consider that’s the lucky part for me; but i study on campus all day long. I agree that I’m very stressed out as a math student, so please, tell me a way to relax? I know there’s CAPS we can go for free, and I am going there regularly, it helps, yet not a lot.

    If I don’t need to spend more than 30 hours on homework in the classes nor worried about getting B- even if I study more than 12 hours a day, I wouldn’t be so stressed. Oh yes you can say that’s because I am stupid, and i agree that I am, and that’s why I stay in library all day long, so that i can be a bit competitive with classmates. Yet banning smoking entirely, is basically asking me to get out of school asap after classes.

    Moreover, the worst department ever in ucla, aka transportation department, is not even giving me a parking permit. In my opinion, the school is making me, who want to focus on academic, to get out of here.

    At last,

    I feel happy about banning smoking on campus because I no longer need to see people get annoyed by smokers or someone just walking on the street smoking while a bunch of people are there feeling disgusted.

    HOWEVER, I think the so called “educational ban”, isn’t really educational since it’s just a lie that they are not giving out cites; and I think the goal of such “education” should be letting people understand that they should respect others, so go to smoking area if you need a smoke. Yet in fact, what you are doing, is telling us that there’s no understanding about respect yourself. How do you ‘educate’ people without having it yourself?

    and the last line I’d like to write to the leader of this ‘banning program’, though I don’t even remember her name since it doesn’t worth it: I do agree we need some sort of restriction on tobacco use, but not a ‘ban’ for everything. Not only I don’t see any problem of smoking when there’s no one aside, I can’t imaging why I can’t choose what my life should be without effecting others.

  • Kendi Kim

    If knowledge makes people better, as Socrates and Bertrand Russell happened to both believe, and if knowledge helps people have happier lives as Aristotle believed, then the fact that we are receiving higher educations should make some real benefit in the way we live our lives and think about the daily aspects of our lives (and its impact on the world and society).

    I think the true benefit of a good education, is to live better lives and become better people than we would be if we didn’t gain the knowledge that we did. Getting a good job, and making lots of money, are just sort of evidence that we live in a world where people around us do in fact appreciate the effort we are making in making ourselves better people. But, we shouldn’t think we are here to just get a better job. We should try to learn something new, and maybe re-think the way we live our lives, and challenge ourselves to examine whether our current ways of doing things are indeed the best ways of doing things – both for ourselves, as well as for our communities and society at large.

    Thanks.

    • SeriousThinking

      are we moving to communism already? wow that’s fast than i thought.

  • http://www.southbeachsmoke.com/ecig-review-sites.aspx South Beach Smoke

    There should be some designated areas for smoking, to be honest imposing complete ban is ridiculous.

  • Self Defense

    Yeah so asking students with no training in conflict resolution to go start conflicts is a good idea huh!?! Well I’m a new ucla student who tried to obey the rule by going to a public sidewalk to smoke and I was damn near assaulted by some crazy dude hell bent on proving that he knows city zoning laws like the back of his hand. Regardless of wether or not I was in the wrong there is no cause for someone to physically threaten me over this policy! This is going to lead to an assault and someone is going to get seriously injured.