Last Thursday, the grounds of Chico State officially became smoke and tobacco-free. This means the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes or chewing tobacco is prohibited on any school grounds.
According to Trisha Seastrom, the program director of the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC), there will be no form of fine or penalty for those who are caught smoking or chewing tobacco during these early days of the ban.
Instead, those found using tobacco on Chico State grounds will “. . . be reminded of the new policy, and provided with information and resources,” according to an email sent by campus public affairs. This is subject to change, however, and different policies may be used to enforce the ban.
Eventually, students will be ticketed for tobacco use on campus although it is unclear the exact date this will be implemented.
Also of note is that the ban does have certain exceptions, as outlined by Executive Order 1108, the document that led to the ban. One such exception is that products meant to help individuals who want to manage their tobacco use, such as nicotine patches, can still be used on campus grounds.
Seastrom also confirmed that there would be exceptions made to the ban for ceremonial purposes. These exceptions will only extend to “…recognized cultural and/or religious groups,” as well as theater and dance performances.
Cultural and religious groups will be recognized and afforded the exception by a campus task force, and theater and dance performances seeking the exception must go “…through Chico State’s Environmental Health and Safety Department and the State Fire Marshall” according to Seastrom.
This ban is not exclusive to Chico State alone, but part of a larger movement by all California State Universities to prohibit the use of tobacco at all CSU locations across California.
The decision to enact Executive Order 1108 was made by Timothy P. White, the Chancellor of CSU, back on April 17 of this year.
The document states that the ban is based on the knowledge that the dangers of smoking, both directly and second-hand, along with the use of other forms of tobacco have been carefully researched for decades.
This, alongside the many benefits individuals that stopped using tobacco gained, such as increased health and financial wellness, was what led to the decision to enact the ban.