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Smoke-free and tobacco-free colleges and universities in the United States

Abstract

Objective To describe the number and proportion of accredited, degree-granting institutions with 100% smoke-free and 100% tobacco-free protections across the USA and by state.

Methods Data on postsecondary education institutions from the US Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System 2015, and smoke-free and tobacco-free campus protections from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation’s Smokefree and Tobacco-Free Colleges and Universities List 2017, were integrated to calculate the number and proportion of: (1) smoke-free and tobacco-free accredited, degree-granting institutions and (2) students and staff protected by campus policies and state laws. Campus protections are given a 100% smoke-free designation if smoking is not allowed on campus anywhere, at any time; 100% tobacco-free designations extend smoke-free protections to include non-combustible products such as smokeless tobacco.

Results 823 accredited, degree-granting institutions (16.7%) representing 1816 individual campuses, sites and schools have either 100% smoke-free or 100% tobacco-free protections. An estimated 14.9 million college students (26.9%) and 8.9 million faculty and staff (25.4%) are protected by campus policies and state laws. Only three states and two territories have 100% smoke-free or 100% tobacco-free protections in over half of their institutions; four states and six territories have no known 100% smoke-free or 100% tobacco-free campus protections.

Conclusions In 2017, just 16.7% of accredited, degree-granting institutions in the USA had 100% smoke-free or 100% tobacco-free protections. Despite progress, more efforts can ensure that students and staff benefit from comprehensive 100% smoke-free and 100% tobacco-free protections at US colleges and universities.

  • campus
  • policy
  • college
  • university
  • student
  • smoke-free
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