Tobacco-Free Policies on the Rise across US Colleges and Universities

Atlanta, GA–More than twice as many U.S. college and university campuses were smoke free or tobacco free in 2017 as in 2012, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

As of November 2017, at least 2,082 U.S. college and university campuses were smoke free (completely prohibited smoking) or tobacco free (completely prohibited both smokeless tobacco use and combustible tobacco product smoking) in all indoor and outdoor areas, up from 774 campuses in 2012.

In 2017, among the 2,082 campuses with smoke-free policies, 84 percent were tobacco-free. By comparison, of the 774 smoke-free college and university campuses in 2012, 73 percent were tobacco-free, using data from ANRF’s College Campus Tobacco Policy Database.

“Colleges and universities are ideal places to promote healthy behaviors that can continue for a lifetime, including being tobacco free,” said Corinne Graffunder, Dr.P.H, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Tobacco-free campus policies could help reduce tobacco use and provide people with a healthier environment to live, work, and learn.”

The study also found that, among the college and university campuses that had smoke-free or tobacco-free polices, 80 percent specifically prohibited e-cigarette use, and 41 percent specifically prohibited hookah (water pipe) smoking.


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