Campus: San Francisco State University -- November 26, 2003

Cigarette Sales Banned at SFSU, Part of CSU Effort

The SFSU Bookstore stopped ordering tobacco products on Aug. 15 and has since sold out of its entire stock of cigarettes. The decision not to sell tobacco products is part of a larger effort to reduce smoking on CSU campuses. Smoking has been banned in all California state-owned buildings since Feb. 19, 1993.

Tobacco sales comprised $330,000 of the Bookstore's $17 million annual sales, but despite the financial loss, the Bookstore decided to stop selling cigarettes through the two snack shops it operates in the Cesar Chavez Student Center after consulting with diverse members of the University community, such as Associated Students Inc. and the administration. The hard decision was made because it is the socially right thing to do, says Bookstore General Manager Rob Strong.

According to Strong, only three or four bookstores in the entire CSU system continue to sell tobacco products, and of those, two will soon stop selling cigarettes.

The Bookstore's action coincided with the release of a new University directive, which extends a smoking ban near building doorways or ground air intake structures from 15 to 30 feet. SFSU is one of the two CSU campuses that ban smoking to 30 feet.

The recent extension of the "smoke-free zone" around campus buildings is intended to protect University students and employees by limiting their exposure to environmental tobacco smoke or second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke has been recognized as the third leading cause of preventable death, behind active smoking and alcohol use, and has been designated a carcinogen, a substance known to cause human cancer, by the State of California and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

All CSU campuses have outdoor smoking bans similar to the one at SFSU, limiting smoking near doorways and ventilation intakes anywhere from 15 to 30 feet. At 30 feet, SFSU and CSU Stanislaus are the strictest among all CSU campuses. However, other CSU campuses, such as San Diego State University and Sonoma State University, ban smoking near food establishments, constructed seating areas, and bus stop shelters in addition to entryways and vents.

College deans and their staffs are in charge of implementing the smoking ban. In buildings that are not administered by colleges, those in charge of the facilities are responsible for enforcing the smoking ban.

In conjunction with similar smoking bans in all state buildings and facilities, this directive will protect approximately 180,000 state workers from the effects of second-hand smoke during the course of their employment.


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