Letter to the Editor

Campus

Dear Editor,

“Latest UCSF Tobacco Policy Is the Wrong Approach” (Sept. 5) provides an option for adopting a more cooperative effort to create a “100% Tobacco-Free” environment, rather than imposing a mandated prohibition on smoking

Although Mr. Govind argues against creating a  “punitive atmosphere”, his article doesn’t resolve the issue of what damage smoking can inflict, in a health center that children and expectant mothers visit, and in an establishment that prides itself on evidence-based research on tobacco control and policy.

This is a public issue, where the greater good lies in the greatest number of people helped in the long term.

The article did not focus on any evidence in its call to action to stop “hanging a nebulous threat over people’s heads.”

If this is all that the non-punitive policy would create, as compared with preventing debilitating ill effects from smoking and second- and third-hand smoke on the well-being of many people over a lifetime, then perhaps a policy to control smoking on UCSF premises is not such a bad policy.

There is voluminous evidence that chewing tobacco causes oral cancer and poor dentition, just to name a few of its ill effects. The behavioral component in smoking means that e-cigarettes are not completely harmless, in so far as they are used as a harm reduction aid for smokers.

It should also be noted that these two products are known to be marketed to adolescents, infused with candy and fruit flavors designed to appeal to them, and can too easily be bought over the counter. 

Lastly, I strongly urge the use of our Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, where this information is available, to conduct a research-driven policy.

Marissa Cruz, RN, PHN