Designated Area Smoking Program

Based on a new state law, from Title 8 California Code of Regulations section 5148 (,  The University has adopted a designated area smoking policy. The policy prohibits smoking, as well as the use of electronic cigarettes, in all California State University San Marcos buildings and state-owned vehicles. Smoking will be permitted only in specific, designated outside locations.

The Board of Trustees of the California State University has delegated to campus presidents the authority to establish smoking policies on the CSU campuses. Following recommendations from various units that represent the campus community, we have adopted the policy summarized below. A full statement of the policy may be found here. This policy relies on the consideration and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers for its success.

Summary of the California State University San Marcos Designated Area Smoking Program
Smoking will be limited to designated outside locations. The University has provided signage at key facility entrances reminding the campus community of this policy revision and the establishment of such designated smoking areas.

The University will make available to employees and students information about the effects of smoking and second-hand smoke and about smoking cessation programs, primarily through the Employee Assistance Program and  Student Health and Counseling Services.

A map of the designated smoking areas on campus is linked below, and all such areas will be marked clearly. Map handouts are available through the Risk Management and Safety office.

Report of Violation of Policy on Smoking on Campus- Form for Submission

New smoking areas as of February 21, 2014: Map

The map will display in "fit-to-page/screen" format which won't be big enough to look clear on most monitors. In order to enlarge the image just move your curser towards the bottom right hand side of the map image and an icon should pop-up. Click that icon and the image will then appear in full size, readable format.

Photo of Designated Smoking Area sign and advertisement

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the California State University San Marcos new designated area smoking program?

The new smoking policy takes effect August 1, 2005 but has been approved by the President since April 5, 2004.  We have been working with many members of the campus community and external agencies in the implementation of this policy and procedure.

Does the CSUSM existing policy address e-cigarettes?

As of March 2014, the existing policy includes e-cigarettes. A few reasons for this change are the following: E-cigarettes can undermine campus policies by making enforcement confusing.  Vaping’ creates a dense mix of vapor and fine particles that looks like tobacco  smoke.  The ‘smoky look’ creates the confusion for adequate enforcement.  E-cigarettes may pollute the air less than cigarettes, but they still pollute the air. Individuals are exposed to secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes.

Currently FDA regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. Proposed newly “deemed” products would include electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, certain dissolvables that are not “smokeless tobacco,” gels, and waterpipe tobacco.Once the proposed rule becomes final, FDA will be able to use powerful regulatory tools, such as age restrictions and rigorous scientific review of new tobacco products and claims to  reduce tobacco-related disease and death.

Why does California State University State San Marcos have a policy that restricts smoking to designated areas?

Designated smoking areas protect visitors and all members of the campus community from exposure to secondhand smoke by containing it to specific, avoidable areas. Secondhand smoke is dangerous to all living things, especially people with asthma and cardiac problems. Each year, over 53,000 people in the US die of illness related to secondhand smoke exposure. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has designated secondhand smoke as a Class A carcinogen because it is known to cause cancer in humans. The EPA has also determined, through research, that there is "no safe level of exposure" to secondhand smoke. With designated smoking areas, people can avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke if they choose to do so.

Where are the designated smoking areas located?

We have included on this site a map of designated smoking areas throughout the campus.

Why not just enforce the state law (no smoking within 20 feet of all entrances, exits and operable windows and air intakes)?

The state law does not protect people from breathing secondhand smoke in areas like the plazas and on stairways and walkways. In addition, when smokers are directed to places where they can smoke, versus where they cannot smoke, the policy is more easily understood and honored.

How will the policy be enforced?

This policy has been endorsed by the Executive Cabinet and was driven by the many complaints from the campus community. It relies on the consideration and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers for its success. Proper signage and education are key parts of this process. All campus community members are encouraged to work together to implement the policy. 

Will programs be offered to provide smokers with cessation support?

Smoking cessation programs are offered to Employees by the employee assistance program administered  through Human Resources. Individual counseling for students is also available through the Student Health Center. Additional support is offered by visiting on the web or by calling 1-800-NOBUTTS. All services are free.

Also, you can go to The American Lung Association website for access to the Freedom From Smoking® program which makes available a group clinic, an online program and a self-help book. You can also speak to a cessation counselor at the Lung HelpLine.

What about individual rights?

Limiting smoking to designated areas on campus allows adults who smoke to continue to do so and preserves everyone's right to breathe clean, smoke-free air. This decision supports the rights and privileges of both smokers and non-smokers alike.

What about the rain?

Current state law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of entrances, exits and operable windows of all university and other government buildings. Anyone doing any kind of business on campus, including walking to class or to work, must be prepared for all types of weather.

Picture of Devan RomeroDevan Romero, Dr. PH

Kinesiology- Assistant Professor

Faculty Advisor on the CSUSM Smoking Policy and implementation

Dr. Romero provides consultation and guidance to the RM&S department on the implementation and promulgation of the campus smoking policy and future changes.

2012 Kick BUTT Event