Welcome to TFCCI's new page offering a snapshot of some of the cutting-edge issues being addressed on college and university campuses today. Many of these issues are discussed further in the materials featured on our Resources page and elsewhere on this website.
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 (811 out of 1,182) are fully tobacco-free, reflecting a shift in social norms across the nation and strengthening the public health response.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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 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."