Across the state and around the country, students, faculty and staff are leading efforts to make their campuses smokefree. At least 2,164 colleges and universities in the United States have 100 percent smokefree campuses, and 1,805 of those are tobacco free.1
Many college students believe their current tobacco use is harmless, that they are not addicted, and that they’ll quit smoking when they graduate. The fact is that smoking as young adults often leads to a lifetime of addiction, resulting in tobacco-related disease and premature death.2
Tobacco free college campuses send a clear message about the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke. There are also environmental benefits of going smokefree. Only one out of 10 cigarettes smoked is properly deposited.3 In fact, cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, and make up 1.69 billion pounds of toxic litter each year.4
A 100 percent smokefree policy bans the use of conventional cigarettes on campus grounds, parking lots, college-sponsored off-campus events and campus-owned vehicles. Tobacco free policies are similar, but prohibit the use of any tobacco product. The policies apply to students, faculty, employees and visitors. Depending on the policy, e-cigarette use may be prohibited. Emerging tobacco products like e-cigarettes also pose a serious risk to these policies. Use of these products can circumvent smokefree policies, keeping smokers hooked on nicotine in places where smoking is banned.
In Florida, 41 college and university campuses have taken the bold step to enact 100 percent smokefree campus policies. To see a complete list, click HERE.
1 American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. “Smokefree and Tobacco-Free U.S. and Tribal Colleges and Universities.” 1 Oct 2016. http://no-smoke.org/pdf/smokefreecollegesuniversities.pdf
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012.
3 iQ Research & Consulting. “Keep America Beautiful Pocket Ashtray Study.” January 2008. http://www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/current-issues/tobacco-free-beaches-and-parks-the-issue/#sthash.hbpvmNQw.dpuf.
4 Novotny, Thomas E., Kristen Lum, Elizabeth Smith, Vivian Wang, and Richard20 Barnes. “Cigarettes Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), 20 May 2009. Web. 27 July 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697937/.