Campus tobacco ban won’t be enforced this fall


Matthew Nobert

Tobacco use, including smoking cigarettes, using electronic cigarettes, hookah, snuff and chewing tobacco will not be allowed on all CSU campuses effective Sept. 1.

Kameron Schmid

In the nearly five months since the CSU chancellor Timothy White announced that all campuses would ban tobacco use by Sept. 1, almost no details on implementation and logistics have been announced for how this will affect Sacramento State smokers, dippers and vapers.

The only new information is that the ban will not be enforced at Sac State until later in the school year, when the university is more prepared to do so.

Sac State’s “Breathe Easy” campaign will be the main force in spreading awareness of the ban, including banners that will serve as “an education effort that will continue through the fall semester,” according to a Sac State press release.

Tobacco users will not be cited, ticketed or penalized in any way in the meantime. What these eventual reprimands or punishments will entail is still a matter of discussion for the decision makers involved in rolling out the ban at Sac State.

The State Hornet previously reported that a committee would be formed to figure out how to implement the ban, made up of members from Student Affairs, the Sac State Police Department and Human Resources.

The original announcement from White details that the “University Police shall reserve all enforcement authority with regards to any violation of existing state and federal law,” but that educational campaigns will be the main effort to encourage compliance.

For now, the previous rules for smoking and other tobacco use on campus still apply; smoking is currently allowed at Sac State except for indoors, inside Hornet Stadium and other athletic venues, within 30 feet of the American River Courtyard, within 20 feet of other building entries and on major walkways.

Part of White’s reasoning for the ban — reiterated by Nelsen in the release — is in effort to push members of CSU communities away from tobacco addictions, still the leading cause in preventable deaths in the U.S., per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Executive Order 1108 said the ban was implemented “to provide the California State University’s faculty, staff, students, guests and the public with campuses that support the principle of one’s individual freedom to learn, teach, work, think and take part in their intellectual endeavors in a fulfilling, rewarding, safe and healthy environment, the creation and implementation of a ‘smoke and tobacco free’ policy systemwide is necessary and welcome.”

“I believe that the ban will have a positive impact on the health of our campus,” Nelsen is quoted as saying. “Aside from the obvious removal of toxic smoke from our campus environment, there will also be a decrease in litter as cigarette butts will no longer be discarded on our campus grounds.”

Students living on campus will be left with few places to go at night to smoke if they want to follow the rules. The closest points to the dorms, the levee running alongside the American River and J Street, are not well-lit at night.

The State Hornet will continue to update this story as new information is revealed.