LONG BEACH — California State University’s board of trustees took its first step Wednesday toward adopting tougher policies for smokers at its 23 campuses.
The trustees directed committee members to draft a policy that would give CSU presidents the authority to set smoking regulations, such as banning smoking within 20 feet of campus buildings, said CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow.
The 20-foot rule has been heavily lobbied by anti-smoking advocates and CSU students, who petitioned the trustees earlier this year to adopt stricter smoking policies.
“It doesn’t mean each president will create a rule that says you can’t smoke 20 feet from the building. But it means they will have the authority to decide,” she said. “It could be a longer distance or a shorter distance.”
The trustees are expected to adopt the policy at their September meeting.
Under the policy, Potes-Fellow said CSU presidents could ban smoking altogether on campuses.
“It’s an option they would have,” she said, adding that an outright ban was unlikely.
Potes-Fellow also said campus presidents would be required to consult with faculty and staff before making any policy change because it would affect working conditions.
“The campus presidents will have to work with the faculty, staff and students to come up with an acceptable policy,” she said.
Smoking has been banned in California’s public buildings since 1994. CSU prohibits smoking within five feet of the entrances and exits of buildings, a limit set by state law. Some campuses have implemented even stricter guidelines, limiting smokers to 15 feet to 30 feet from campus buildings.