Campus Community Sees a Positive Difference with Smoke Free Policy

Survey provides information on the effectiveness of UCR’s Clearing the Air Tobacco/Smoke Free campaign

UC Riverside became a Smoke and Tobacco free campus in 2014.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – A survey of nearly 2,000 students, staff, and faculty at UC Riverside has revealed a significant portion of the campus community has noticed a decrease in second-hand smoke exposure after UCR became a smoke and tobacco free university in 2014.

The survey provides a snapshot of the effectiveness of UCR’s Clearing the Air Tobacco/Smoke Free campaign on-campus by comparing results from a pre-implementation survey, and a post-implementation survey. It also outlines the issues that still exist in recommendations for going forward to strengthen the policy.

Of the 1,895 who agreed to take the survey, nearly 44 percent were students, 47 percent staff, and 8 percent faculty. More than 80 percent think the new policy has had some sort of positive health impact on the campus. Before the smoke free policy was in place, 32 percent of the respondents said they were exposed to second hand smoke multiple times a day. After the implementation of the tobacco and smoke free policies, only 7 percent said they experienced secondhand smoke.

Nearly 34 percent of smokers report their frequency of tobacco use has decreased due to the policy, and about 6 percent of all former smokers said they quit smoking because of the policy.

I applaud the significant progress that we’ve made in reducing the health and environmental impacts of smoking on our campus,” said Vice Chancellor Ron T. Coley. “Likewise, I am extremely pleased and inspired by our campus’ commitment to redouble our efforts on behalf of all those who smoke and would like to quit, as well as those who would prefer not to be subjected to the effects of second-hand smoke.”

Chobdee said though the campus is moving in the right direction, there’s still some work that needs to be done. Comments on the survey suggest there are smoking hotspots around the campus and improper disposal of cigarette butts, usually found under leaves and bushes, which can result in a potential fire hazard. Most believe a stricter enforcement policy would be more effective 54% reported informing their colleagues/peers about the policy.

The survey also revealed recommendations for success that range from forming a post-implementation committee, to increasing and replacing signage around campus. Formation of a UCR Smoke/Tobacco-Free Policy Post Implementation Committee would formally address current and future issues and create a process to respond to and handle compliance issues, complaints, and communications.

We could potentially hire student intern ambassadors, come up with a campus-wide and targeted communications strategy, and even partner with the City of Riverside and neighboring businesses to promote smoke and tobacco free environments,” Chobdee said.

The Smoke and Tobacco-Free policy is part of a larger healthy campus initiative contributing to the overall health and well-being of campus community and culture of wellness,” Chobdee said. “This is just the first step towards a healthier UCR.”

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-5893
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Additional Contacts

Julie Chobdee
Tel: 951.827.1488

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