Sonoma State University goes smoke-free

Sonoma State University’s new smoke-free policy took effect Sunday, a university spokeswoman said.

The smoking ban, which includes smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette products, applies to all areas of the campus except the parking lots. The entire campus will be smoke free starting July 1, SSU spokeswoman Susan Kashack said.

SSU is the second campus in the California State University system to go smoke-free, Kashack said. CSU Fullerton went smoke-free in 2013, while San Jose State University hopes to have a smoke-free policy in place by Aug. 1, Kashack said.

The policy has been under discussion for some time, SSU’s director of human resources Tammy Kenber said in a statement:

“It’s good for the health of our employees and students, and we decided that we need to quit sitting on this issue and make it happen. …┬áThe vast majority of students and employees are supportive of the SSU policy.”

SSU will not issue tickets for smoking on campus. Instead, offenders will be disciplined internally, she said:

“We will treat it like any other policy. If you’re a student, you’ll talk to someone in student discipline. If you’re an employee, you’ll have to have a chat with your manager.”

Santa Rosa Junior College has been smoke-free since 2009 and fines are levied for smoking on its campus or within 20 feet of the campus, Kashack said.

According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, there currently are more than 1,500 colleges and universities nationwide that have 100 percent smoke-free policies, including 27 in California. Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana and Oklahoma also prohibit smoking on public college campuses statewide, Kashack said.