Tobacco Free College Campus

Why be Tobacco-Free?  Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of illness, disability, and death in the United States 3. According to 2011 data, approximately 18.9% of adults aged 18-24 are current smokers 2. Using the knowledge that policy changes facilitate and reinforce behavior change, universities throughout the country are implementing policies that reduce or prohibit the use of tobacco products while on campus. As of January 2nd 2014, there are at least 1,182 colleges/ universities in the United States that have implemented either a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy on their campuses1.

Smoke-Free? Tobacco-Free?

  • A smoke-free campus is one in which only smoke-producing tobacco products are limited or banned.
    • The primary concern of a smoke-free policy is secondhand smoke
    • Smoke-free policies can lead to an increase in the use of other forms of tobacco
  • A tobacco-free campus is one in which all tobacco products are limited or banned.
    • Protects the health of the user and the health of others
    • There will be no confusion as to what tobacco products are allowed on campus

Colleges and universities provide a unique opportunity to create and sustain tobacco-free living

  • 90% of smokers begin smoking by age 18, 99% begin by age 261.
  • In 2010, there were over 20 million students enrolled in colleges or universities in the United States
    • A college campus is a fundamental environment for encouraging young adults to reject tobacco products
    • Tobacco policies can help to establish a new social norm about the acceptability of tobacco use

To find colleges that are 100% tobacco free, please visit American Lung Association- Tobacco-free colleges and universities.

For more information, please visit the sites below:


1. Americans for Nonsmokers Rights. (2014). Colleges and universities. Going smokefree. Retrieved from

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012a). Current cigarette smoking among adults – United States 2011. Morbidity and Mortality weekly report. Retrieved from  tm_w

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012b). Tobacco use: Targeting the Nation’s Leading Killer At a Glance 2011. Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved from