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CDC Report Emphasizes Importance of Smoke-Free Policies on College Campuses

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed the importance of ensuring colleges and universities throughout the nation have smoke-free and tobacco-free policies, as nearly all cigarette smokers start smoking before the age of 26.

aug2018image004Smoke-free policies are critical to protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure, which causes nearly 41,000 deaths each year. Implementation of these policies is also vital to help reduce the social acceptability of smoking and reduce the prevalence of smoking among young adults. It is also necessary to increase overall smoking cessation.

“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 members, and guests from secondhand smoke exposure through tobacco control policies,” the report said.

The CDC and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) collaborated to analyze the number of campuses that either completely prohibit smoking or prohibit smoking in both indoor and outdoor areas. The study revealed that smoke-free policies were implemented in at least 2,082 campuses. Further, 83.7% of campuses were tobacco-free, 79.6% prohibited e-cigarette use and 41% prohibited hookah smoking.

The CDC and ANRF also analyzed specific university and college categories, including public campuses, private campuses, community college campuses, historically black colleges/universities and tribal campuses.

“Smoke-free and tobacco-free campuses can promote the health and well-being of a diverse intersection of students, faculty, staff members, and guests by protecting nonusers from the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco product emissions, reducing the social acceptability of tobacco product use, preventing tobacco use initiation, and promoting cessation,” the report stated.

Click Here to Access the Full Article in the American Journal of Managed Care