University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

UCSF to Become Nearly Smoke Free by July 1

By Lisa Cisneros, UCSF Today | June 3, 2005

In a major step to provide a safe and healthy environment, UCSF will significantly reduce on-campus smoking areas to protect human health.

With the exception of only a few, small designated areas for patients and visitors, all University-owned or leased property will be smoke-free effective July 1.

Chancellor Mike Bishop made the announcement through an email to the campus community on May 31, the annual World Health Organization's "World No Tobacco Day."

"This year, the focus is on the role of health professionals in tobacco control," Bishop noted. "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."

"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," Bishop continued. "I invite your cooperation and your commitment to this important effort."

Joining other tobacco control advocates at a World No Tobacco Day event at UCSF, David Kessler, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs, spoke about the revised smoking policy and other UCSF measures to curb the single greatest public health threat.

The deadly toll from tobacco is staggering:

  • 440,000 people die in the US every year

  • 4.8 million die worldwide every year

  • 10 million deaths are estimated by 2030

  • 8.6 million will be disabled from tobacco-related diseases in the US alone.

"As health care professionals we are in a unique position to intervene in tobacco addiction, which is the leading cause of preventable death in this country," Kessler said. "We also have an obligation as an institution."

Duty to Intervene

Among many other efforts to reduce tobacco addiction to prevent diseases and deaths it causes, UCSF is:

  • offering a curriculum that teaches students that nicotine addiction is a disease that can and must be treated and reflects the latest science on smoking cessation, nicotine addition, and tobacco control;

  • developing new ways to help students become proficient in assessing and treating people who smoke;

  • expanding the RX for Change program to equip clinicians with the tools and knowledge they need to help patients stop smoking.

Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, talked about the success in launching and expanding the model Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation.

The interactive, hands-on curriculum -- posted on the web -- incorporates evidence-based research and emphasizes behavioral change. It was peer-reviewed by tobacco control experts, including UCSF's Stanton Glantz and Neal Benowitz.

Read more at Lisa Cisneros, UCSF Today