An increasing number of the colleges and universities seeking to reduce tobacco use and exposure on campus are adopting comprehensive tobacco-free policies. About two-thirds of the campus policies now in place are fully tobacco-free, reflecting a shift in social norms across the nation and strengthening the public health response.
- The American College Health Association recommends that colleges and universities "Develop a strongly worded tobacco policy that reflects the best practices in tobacco prevention, cessation, and control. These include the following recommendations [among other measures]: a. Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes (clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco (spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff). b. Tobacco use is prohibited on all college and university grounds, college/university owned or leased properties, and in campus-owned, leased, or rented vehicles..."
- Tobacco-Free Campuses (American Lung Association): "This list does not include colleges with 'smoke-free campus' policies that do not address other forms of tobacco use. Prohibiting only cigarette smoking may lead to the unintended consequence of increased use of 'smokeless tobacco' products, which are being heavily marketed by the tobacco industry to young adults and others for use in settings where smoking is not allowed. Because these products are not safe alternatives to smoking, it is important that they be addressed in campus policies and related educational activities. In addition, this list only includes institutions where the policy covers the entire college or university, versus just one of their locations."
- An example is the new policy adopted by Ohio State University, one of the nation's largest academic institutions.
- Effective Strategies for Ensuring Cooperation and Compliance with a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy (TFCCI and National Center for Tobacco Policy)
"The tips highlighted [here] include proven strategies for helping college and university administrators, students, faculty, staff and other interested parties employ effective approaches to successful implementation of their tobacco- or smoke-free policies, including actions that should be taken even before the policy goes into effect."
- Tobacco-free Take Action!: Increasing Policy Adherence on a College Campus (University of Kentucky)
Should College Campuses Become Tobacco Free Without an Enforcement Plan? (Miami University)
- Campus Instructional Videos
- FDA and the States Must Regulate E-Cigarettes to Protect Public Health: Our Policy Regarding E-Cigarettes (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)
"E-cigarettes should be included in smoke-free laws both to protect non-users from possible harm caused by exposure to e-cigarette emissions and to facilitate enforcement of these laws. Allowing e-cigarette use in smoke-free places makes enforcement of smoke-free laws more difficult, requiring business owners and officials to distinguish between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes and possibly encouraging cigarette smokers to flout the law."
- Electronic Cigarettes (Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California - San Francisco)
"The claim that e-cigarettes emit only harmless water vapor is not true. Although e-cigarette aerosol delivers lower levels of many toxins than cigarette smoke, the aerosol still contains nicotine, ultrafine particles, other toxic chemicals, and carcinogens."
"Electronic cigarettes and nicotine inhalers both deliver nicotine to your body without tobacco. But that's where the similarity ends. The two are quite different when it comes to how they're used and how much doctors know about their safety. Nicotine inhalers are a proven safe and effective way to help people stop smoking. In contrast, very little is known about the health effects of electronic cigarettes ... Also, no convincing evidence shows that e-cigarettes are useful in helping people to eventually stop smoking."
- Electronic (e-) Cigarettes and Secondhand Aerosol (Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights)
"E-cigarettes do not just emit 'harmless water vapor.' Secondhand e-cigarette aerosol ... contains nicotine, ultrafine particles and low levels of toxins that are known to cause cancer ... E-cigarette vapor is a new source of pollution and toxins being emitted into the environment. We do not know the long-term effects of e-cigarette use and although the industry marketing of the product implies that these products are harmless, the vapor that e-cigarettes emit is not purely water vapor."
The Three Ts of Adopting Tobacco-free Policies on College Campuses (University of Kentucky)
Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: Clinical Practice Guideline (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- Quit Now (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- Cessation Strategies for Tobacco-Free Campuses (South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control)
- College Smoking Policies and Smoking Cessation Programs: Results of a Survey of College Health Center Directors (Harvard University et al.)
- Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (UCSF)
- The Effect of a Smoke-Free Campus Policy on College Students' Smoking Behaviors and Attitudes (Indiana University)
- Changes in Smokeless Tobacco Use Over Four Years Following a Campus-Wide Anti-tobacco Intervention (Oklahoma State University)
- Changes in Smoking Prevalence, Attitudes, and Beliefs Over 4 Years Following a Campus-Wide Anti-tobacco Intervention (Oklahoma State University)
- Campus Smoking Rate on the Decline (University of Michigan)
- Cigarette Butts Near Building Entrances: What is the Impact of Smoke-Free College Campus Policies? (University of North Carolina)
The U.S. Department of Education is now promoting tobacco-free campuses. See the guest blog by Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh on the Department of Ed's "Homeroom" website.
See Dr. Howard Koh's interview about TFCCI on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "New Public Health" blog page.
Dr. Koh published this informative article on the day of a major tobacco-free college campus symposium at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he delivered the keynote address.
Another great resource, this is Dr. Koh's guest commentary in the National Cancer Institute's "NCI Cancer Bulletin."
- Fact Sheet: Environmental Impact of Tobacco (Multnomah Tobacco Prevention and Education Program)
- Cigarette butts near building entrances: what is the impact of smoke-free college campus policies? (Tobacco Control, BMJ)
- Butt Really? The environmental impact of tobacco (Tobacco Control, BMJ)
- Cigarette Butts are Toxic Waste (Tobacco-Free California)
- Tobacco and the Environment (ASH UK)
- Cigarette Butt Waste (ANRF)
- Help us Stop Toxic Litter (American Legacy Foundation)
- Call to Action (Cigarette Butt Pollution Project)
- Merchants of Doubt - Oreskes and Conway tell an important story about the misuse of science to mislead the public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality of global warming.
Table of Contents
- Tobacco-Free vs. Smoke-Free Policies
- Compliance and Enforcement
- Tobacco Use Cessation
- Effectiveness of Tobacco-Free and Smoke-Free Policies
- The U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Talks about TFCCI and Tobacco Use on College Campuses
- Environmental Impact
- Tobacco 21
Many of these issues are discussed further in the materials featured on our Resources page and elsewhere on this website.