UCSF today is joining a growing number of 100 percent smoke-free health care institutions, including University of California medical centers at UC Davis and UC Irvine.
UCSF first took the step to limit smoking on July 1, 2005, when it implemented a policy prohibiting smoking on campus grounds except for two designated smoking sites.
On May 31, 2005, the annual World Health Organization’s “World No Tobacco Day,” Chancellor Mike Bishop, MD, made the announcement through an email to the campus community.
“In light of our mission as a health sciences campus, we must take a leadership role to protect the health of our faculty, staff, students, patients and visitors,” Bishop said at the time. “I hope that a spirit of respect for the health of all university employees will be reflected across campus as we implement this revised policy.”
Today, national smoke-out day, UCSF is going one step further. As of Thursday, Nov. 20, the designated smoking shelters at UCSF’s Parnassus and Mount Zion campuses will be removed, and smoking will no longer be permitted on any property leased or owned by UCSF, in accordance with UCSF policy.
Enforcement of the no-smoking policy continues to be the responsibility of managers and supervisors. Additionally, the security units for both the campus and UCSF Medical Center have agreed to assist in an education effort by distributing information cards to individuals who are observed violating the policy.
Research has found that implementing a smoke-free policy at medical centers is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of regular cigarette smoking from 16.7 percent to 13.8 percent and with a smoking cessation rate of 22.5 percent among employees in the first year alone.
In a 2006 report, titled “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” the US Surgeon General concluded that the “scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be harmful to your health.”
UCSF recognizes that the inability to smoke on campus will be difficult for some people. For this reason, UCSF is committed to offering the best tobacco treatment for patients and employees. UCSF has redesigned the inpatient tobacco treatment program and offers programs to help employees and visitors who smoke.
Information and a list of resources for employees are available on the Smoke-Free Workplace website.