Cal State Fullerton becomes the CSU system’s first smoke-free campus

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In accordance with a 2012 directive, smoking has been banned campus-wide Illustrations by Deanna Trombley and Jessica Pineda
In accordance with a 2012 directive, smoking has been banned campus-wide
Illustrations by Deanna Trombley and Jessica Pineda

Ashtrays and designated smoking areas have been replaced with no smoking signs as Cal State Fullerton became the first 100 percent smoke-free campus in the California State University system.

Effective Aug. 1, smoking is prohibited in all interior and exterior campus areas and all outdoor areas owned, leased or rented by the university—including residence halls, parking structures and the Irvine campus.

The ban includes the sale or distribution of any tobacco product on campus. Electronic cigarettes, clove cigarettes and hookah are also prohibited.

Dean of Students Tonantzin Oseguera, Ph.D, said the goal of the policy is to ultimately provide a healthy and productive environment and to safeguard against secondhand smoke.

 While the university cannot force students to quit smoking, Oseguera said the policy makes a statement about supporting those who are trying to quit tobacco products.

“It’s a free choice but on this campus we’re saying we want our students to think about health choices for everyone and so what’s best for everyone is this—that we move in the same direction as the state in regards to having all of our areas be smoke-free,” Oseguera said.

However, the ban does not prohibit smoking on the perimeter of the campus, which includes the sidewalks around the campus.

Former President Willie J. Hagan originally signed Directive No. 18 in May 2012, establishing a smoke-free policy at Cal State Fullerton. The directive was revised and reissued by current President Mildred Garcia in July 2013.

Thank you for not smoking

Campus police will not be citing individuals for violating the no-smoking policy.

Instead, the university will depend on the CSUF community to help create a smoke-free environment through “community enforcement,” which relies on individuals to educate one another about the smoke-free policy.

Interim Associate Vice President for Human Resource/Risk Management John Beisner said efforts have been made to announce this policy using various outlets, and those activities will continue throughout the semester.

“The success of President’s Directive 18 depends on the thoughtfulness, civility and cooperation of all members of the campus community, including visitors,” Beisner said. “Compliance is grounded in an informed and educated campus community.”

Students can report violations on the university’s smoke-free website.

While there are no specific consequences named for lighting up, the directive insists students “may face disciplinary action” if they are caught violating the policy.


An estimated $116,000 have been allocated to implement the ban, according to Carlos Navarro, Associated Students Inc. chief administrative officer.

Navarro, 21, said the revised estimated costs include removal of ashtrays and old signs, the purchase of new signs, smoking kit handouts and T-shirts.

A large portion of the funds are going toward marketing the smoking ban using signage to spread knowledge of the ban as well workshops for students, staff and faculty.

“A lot of it has been behind the scenes costs that go into transitioning the workforce of the university into a smoke-free campus,” Navarro said.

According to Navarro, ASI held a referendum to ask students if they are in favor of the smoking ban and the majority of students did favor the ban.

“It’ll have an effect but I think over the next few years it’ll just be something that we all know and expect here on campus,” Navarro said.

Kill it with kindness

According to Beisner, students from the Student Health and Counseling Center, ASI and various clubs and organizations on campus are working to help implement this policy.

These “Fresh Air Advocates” will be active on campus to educate those who are smoking about the university’s smoking restriction and resources available to quit smoking.

“When they approach someone, they will ‘SMOKE’: Smile and introduce themselves; Make the assumption that the person smoking might not be aware of the policy and inform them of the ban; Offer them a pack of gum and cessation program information; Kindly enforce the policy; and enforce the ban by reporting the smoking,” Beisner said.

 According to the university, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety will collaborate with various entities to provide faculty, staff, students and visitors with notice of this policy through signs, presentations and publications.

Free tobacco/smoking cessation classes are available through the Anaheim Regional Medical Center for CSUF students, staff and faculty who wish to quit smoking.

The university programs include a five-week cessation class series, individual counseling sessions, telephone hotlines and free nicotine patches for adults over 18 who complete cessation classes.

Leading the way

 The CSU Board of Trustees has delegated authority to campus presidents to adopt rules regulating smoking on campuses.

According to Oseguera, the CSU system is moving towards having smoke-free campuses.

“It was the board of trustees that wanted to have a committed, healthy, productive campus environment. And so, it’s a move that all of the CSUs are going towards, having smoke-free campuses, but Cal State Fullerton decided it wanted to be the first campus to make it happen,” Oseguera said.

Navarro said the smoke-free ban is being heavily discussed amongst all 23 CSUs.

“They’re probably going to look to us to see what we’re doing on our campus, how it’s working on our campus and then probably over the next couple of years we’ll see a couple more CSUs become smoke free,” Navarro said.

UCLA will be the first campus in the University of California system to completely ban the use of tobacco products following a call by president Mark G. Yudof for the 10-school system to adopt smoke-free policies by 2014.

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  • Why e-cigs?

  • John

    Vaporizers (e-cigs) help smokers quit smoking. The vapor exhaled doesn’t linger or pose health risks to bystanders. Horrible and ignorant decision.

  • Anna

    I strongly feel that vaporizers (e-cigs) shouldn’t have been banned. If they want to help smokers quit, then they should allow them. It does not harm others. If they are allowed inside buildings, and do not even set off smoke detectors, they should be allowed on campus!

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