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WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — The University of California Los Angeles will go tobacco-free on Earth Day 2013.
Chancellor Gene Block said in a letter issued Tuesday that tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and electronic cigarettes, will be banned from the school’s campus starting on April 22.
“Cigarette butts, which are non-biodegradable, account for one-third of all the litter in California,” Block said in the letter. “Cigarette butts and cigarette smoke are toxic and degrade the quality of our air, water, forests and beaches.”
UCLA’s Health Science campus went smoke-free in Nov. 2011.
UCLA will be the first UC school to prohibit tobacco use on campus. The ban is part of a wider plan across the UC system to purge tobacco use across all campuses by 2014.
Block said the ban will “promote the well-being of our entire community through research, education and practice in such areas as nutrition, physical activity, environment and stress management.”
Those caught using tobacco products on campus after the ban goes into effect will be penalized, officials said. Offenders will also receive educational resources and nicotine replacement starter kits.