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Breathe Free Tracker Combats Smoke, Litter

By Dateline Staff on November 1, 2019 in University

UC Davis’ Smoke and Tobacco Free initiative is asking people to use the recently renamed Breathe Free Tracker, an online tool, to report smoking hot spots and tobacco litter.

The data serve two purposes: to guide crews to clean up cigarette butts in areas where smokers may gather, and to inform decision making related to the university’s smoke and tobacco free policy.

“We’re excited to roll out the tool and work collaboratively toward a healthier campus,” said Keavagh Clift, program coordinator for the Smoke and Tobacco Free initiative, or Breathe Free. “The tracker provides the UC Davis community with an opportunity to get involved and make a difference on campus.”

Launched in March as Aggie Air, the tracker asks what you saw (smoking or vaping, or litter from smoking or vaping) and where you saw it. The tracker features a map where you mark the location of your observation, Davis campus or Sacramento campus. (Note: You may not see both campuses on your screen at the same time, but they are there — just drag left or right.)

“The information collected is to help keep UC Davis and UC Davis Health clean and provide resources to frequently tagged areas,” reads the tracker’s introduction. “This tool does not keep any personal information of smokers.”

Since the Breathe Free Tracker launched in March 2019, there have been 495 uses of the tool. A map of results can be seen here. If the tracker continues to be widely used, leadership on campus will be able to use the data for policy decision-making purposes.

The tool grew out of a research partnership with California State University, San Marcos. “Both the UCs and CSUs have a systemwide smoke and tobacco-free policy, and we have all been looking for ways to support the policy and engage the campus community,” said Elisa Tong, associate professor in the School of Medicine, who secured the grant for the tracker pilot.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or dljones@ucdavis.edu. Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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