Frequently Asked Questions

As of January 1, 2014, UC Berkeley is completely tobacco-free, and the use of cigarettes and all tobacco products are no longer be permitted on campus or other UC Berkeley owned or leased properties.


Why?

University of California Office of the President charged all UC campuses to go smoke- and tobacco-free by January 1, 2014 to save lives and improve the health of our community.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and according to the US Surgeon General, there is no safe level of second-hand smoke.  In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e., about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are attributable to secondhand smoke exposure).

A tobacco-free campus will:

  • Create a healthier environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors;
  • Support tobacco users who are trying to quit; and
  • Reduce the number of new tobacco users by promoting the social norm of a tobacco-free environment.

When?

UC Berkeley is tobacco-free effective January 1, 2014.


What?

The President’s letter and UC policy prohibit the use of tobacco, smokeless tobacco (e.g. moist snuff, chewing tobacco, snus), and unregulated nicotine products (e.g. “e-cigarettes”) on campus property.


Where?

Tobacco use is prohibited at all indoor and outdoor spaces owned or leased by UC Berkeley.  All other UC campuses implemented their campus-specific tobacco-free policies as of January 1, 2014.


Who?

This will affect everyone on UC Berkeley property, including students, faculty, staff and visitors.


How?

UC Berkeley has a campus-specific policy and implementation procedures created by the Tobacco-Free Berkeley Steering Committee. There is no expectation or requirement that members of our community quit smoking; however, the campus strongly supports those ready to quit. We plan to ensure that tobacco users have access and referrals to a variety of cessation support services to help them be successful with their personal health goals. University Health Services (UHS) will be offering students, faculty and staff one-on-one cessation assistance to develop a quit plan, free quit kits, and a free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) starter pack for those who meet for a brief consultation with a tobacco cessation counselor.  Tobacco users are also encouraged to utilize the evidence-based quit resources, including free apps, text messaging, online programs, and the California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-NO-BUTTS) available at the UHS Smoking Cessation website.


How will the policy be enforced?

Enforcement of the policy focuses on educating the community about the policy and promoting smoking cessation resources. The success of this policy relies on the respectfulness, consideration and cooperation of both tobacco users and non-tobacco users. All members of the university community share the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing the policy and have the responsibility for bringing it to the attention of visitors and guests. In chronic and/or extreme cases, violations of this policy by students, faculty, or staff will be addressed in a manner consistent with any other policy violation.


Why are e-cigarettes not allowed?

The safety of e-cigarettes remains unclear. Some researchers are concerned that new health risks may emerge from their long-term use. As research continues on e-cigarette safety and efficacy as a cessation tool, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization do not consider e-cigarettes to be safe at this time.

My question isn't addressed here. Where else can I look?

If your question is not addressed here, please send an e-mail to:  tobaccofree@berkeley.edu.