Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Policies in Colleges and Universities—United States and Territories, 2017

June 22, 2018 / Vol. 67 / No. 24



MMWR Introduction

Given that 99% of adult cigarette smokers first start smoking before age 26 years and many smokers transition to regular, daily use during young adulthood, colleges and universities represent an important venue for protecting students, faculty, staff, and guests from secondhand smoke exposure through tobacco control policies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) analyzed data from ANRF’s College Campus Tobacco Policy Database to determine the number of campuses nationwide that completely prohibited smoking (i.e., smoke-free) or completely prohibited both smoking and smokeless tobacco product use (i.e., tobacco-free) in all indoor and outdoor areas. Campuses that explicitly prohibited use of e-cigarettes and hookah smoking were also assessed.

Continued efforts to monitor, promote, implement, and enforce smoke-free and tobacco-free policies in US colleges and universities, in coordination with continued implementation of proven population-based strategies and tobacco product regulation, can help reduce the burden of tobacco product use at colleges and universities.

MMWR Highlights

US College and University Campuses with Smoke-Free or Tobacco-Free Policies, 2012 and 2017

  • In 2012, 774 college and university campuses had smoke-free policies; of these, 562 (73%) campuses were tobacco-free.
  • As of November 2017, at least 2,082 US college and university campuses had smoke-free or tobacco-free policies. Of those campuses,
    • 1,743 (84%) were tobacco-free.
    • 1,743 (84%) were tobacco-free.
    • 854 (41%) specifically prohibited hookah (or water pipe) smoking.

US College and University Campuses with Smoke-Free Policies by State or Territory, 2017

  • The number of college and university campuses identified to have smoke-free policies ranged from 1 in Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands to 108 in California and North Carolina.


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