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College Students Head to Tobacco-Free Campuses

August 23, 2013


Reflecting a change that has swept the nation in recent years, many students now heading to college will find their campuses to be smoke-free and even tobacco-free.

As of July 8, at least 1,182 college and university campuses have adopted smoke-free policies, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

Of these, 798 campuses have a 100 percent tobacco-free policy. Since September 2012, more than 400 colleges and universities have gone smoke-free.

Here are just a few of the schools that have recently gone smoke- or tobacco-free – along with administrators’ and students’ remarks welcoming the change:

  • Alabama State University: “The best science we have says that smoking causes grave difficulties to health. And we want our young people and our colleagues to be as healthy as possible,” said ASU President William Harris.
  • American University: The tobacco-free policy was enacted for “the health and well-being of the campus,” Robert D. Hradsky, assistant vice president and dean of students, told the Washington Post.
  • Auburn University: “The [smoke-free] policy will translate into more members of our community quitting smoking – there is a high likelihood of that – and more of the younger members of the community not starting to smoke. Both will be significant health-promoting contributions,” according to Auburn’s smoke-free website.
  • George Washington University: “Smoke-free GW starts an important conversation about healthy lifestyle choices and provides valuable resources for current smokers to quit. As a student, I am proud to see that an initiative rooted by both students and University leaders is being implemented jointly,” said GW sophomore and student association senator Marshall Cohen in George Washington Today.
  • Kentucky State University: “The emphasis is, from all the respondents who want us to move in this direction, that we are a predominantly health science-directed institution, and therefore we should lead the way in healthy environments,” said Brenda Floyd, vice president for finance and administration, in the University Herald.
  • Northeastern University: “The decision to move forward with a smoke-free campus policy closely aligns with the university’s core research themes of health, security, and sustainability. Our primary concern is the health of our community, particularly young people,” said Terry Fulmer, dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern.
  • Ohio State University: “I think the global view is really how do we promote being one of the healthiest campuses and I think it’s not allowing these products to be available within the campus environment,” said Liz Klein of OSU’s College Of Public Health in an interview with WOSU.
  • University of Maryland: “We have an obligation to our students, employees and visitors to provide a healthy and clean campus environment,” said President Wallace Loh in UMD Right Now.
  • University of Miami: “We are steadfast in our commitment to create a healthy living and working environment. We’re going completely smoke-free for our students, employees, visitors and friends,” said President Donna E. Shalala, a former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, in a UM press release.

Smoke- and tobacco-free policies protect the health of students and university employees and help reduce tobacco use among a population that is heavily targeted by the tobacco industry.