Unfortunately, it is a non-trivial amount of work (UBB has a rather tricky code base). But we'll make a note to ourselves for any software we might migrate to.
As a workaround, you can turn off smilies for individual posts by unchecking a checkbox during posting. Certain forums (like JDBC, I think) have this checkbox turned off by default. We could turn it off for other forums as well, if there are particular ones where you're seeing a lot of this.
It is not that much of an issue and it does not occur so frequently that it would justify turning emoticons off in these forums (the java beginner/intermediate forums and the SCJP forum) or digging through the tricky code.