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The last drag: UCLA to go tobacco-free in April

Rajesh Kumar/AP

Butts are about to be banished by UCLA.

On April 22 — Earth Day 2012 — the Westwood campus, along with other university-owned and leased sites, will go tobacco-free, according to a letter Tuesday by Chancellor Gene Block.

Advised by the Tobacco-Free Steering Committee, UCLA will implement a full ban on all tobacco products, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and other products. A draft of the policy, including plans for a "Healthy Campus Initiative" will be available November 15 for review by students, staff and faculty.

More than 800 colleges and universities nationwide have adopted tobacco or smoke-free policies, said Chancellor Block in his letter. His message, which points to the cascading health dangers and environmental toxicities tied to tobacco use, is published in its entirety on the UCLA Newsroom site. Excerpt below:

Implementing a tobacco-free policy beginning on Earth Day will underscore the benefits that this new policy will bring to the well-being of our entire community. Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke remain the leading causes of preventable disease and death worldwide.