BERKELEY, Calif. -

University of California officials are reminding students and faculty that the system wide smoking ban going into effect next year includes electronic cigarettes.

Josh Moskowitz, a member of the UC committee that wrote the smoking ban, tells the Oakland Tribune that questions about the long term health effects of e-cigarettes led officials to include them in the ban.

Backers claim electronic cigarettes, which heat a flavored liquid until it produces a vapor, but no smoke, are safer than traditional smokes.

The newspaper says about 10 percent of UC employees smoke cigarettes, and 8 percent of students smoke.

It's unclear how many on UC campuses use the new electronic cigarettes.

All 10 schools in the system will go tobacco-free by Jan. 2.

The ban also includes smokeless tobacco, or chew.