Stanford Medical Center will ban smoking on its campus, including outdoor areas, beginning Sept. 1, university officials announced today.
The ban will not apply to Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, which have designated smoking areas outside. Smoking is not allowed in either hospital.
The ban applies to all other medical center buildings, including the patio and seating areas at the Clark Building, the psychiatry building on Quarry Road, and other buildings in the area bounded by Welch Road, Pasteur Drive and Campus Drive West.
"It is my hope that this expansion of our official smoking policy will signal to the tobacco industry our nearly universal abhorrence of its practices and our commitment to promoting the health of our community," said Philip Pizzo, dean of the School of Medicine.
A study by Stanford researchers published in May found that non-smokers sitting in outdoor cafes and parks could be exposed to significant levels of toxins from nearby smokers.
"A lot of people might assume that the smoke is very dilute and just floats away immediately," said Neil Klepeis, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and lead author of the study.
Only 4 percent of Stanford employees smoke, according to data from the Stanford Health and Lifestyle Assessment. The university will offer a new benefit Sept. 1 to employees or their family members who want to quit smoking.