Tobacco Free U: Fact Sheet
Highlights of the latest report from the American Cancer Society, just in time for the Great American Smokeout
• Tobacco-free/smoke-free campus policies are a growing trend across the country. Both public and private institutions are recognizing the important health and economic benefits of having a tobacco-free/smoke-free campus policy.
• Colleges should be places where students learn lessons to last a lifetime, not where students pick up a life-long addiction.
• Tobacco free means that the use of tobacco in any form is prohibited everywhere on campus. Smoke free means that smoking tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is prohibited everywhere on campus.
• Nationwide, 586 colleges are 100% smoke free as of October 2011.
• Tobacco-Free U: NYS Colleges Expel Tobacco, reports that the state has experienced a 16-fold increase in the number of colleges that have adopted tobacco-free/smoke-free policies since the mid-2000s.
• According to Tobacco-Free U in NYS:
o 17 percent have implemented a tobacco-free or smoke-free campus policy.
o 23 percent are in the process of adopting/implementing a tobacco-free or smoke-free policy in the near future.
o Overall, 40 percent of college campuses either have implemented or are in the process of adopting/implementing a tobacco-free or smoke-free policy.
• In New York State, the rate of smoking in the 18-24 age group (23.1 percent) is 83 percent higher than that of high school age students (12.6 percent). (NYS DOH 2009)
• Colleges represent what has been called the latest battleground in the tobacco wars. New York has been successful at delaying smoking initiation among high school age students. Young adults are now major targets for the tobacco industry who count on attracting new legal customers as early as possible.
• The American Cancer Society gathered data for Tobacco-Free U over the course of one year from 98 percent of college campuses across New York State (192 out of 194 colleges).
• In New York State, there are 194 colleges; 83 public and 111 private.
• Private campuses in NYS were more likely to be tobacco free/smoke free with 23 reporting a policy in place while 10 public colleges met the criteria for a tobacco-free/smoke-free campus policy.
• New York’s public colleges are more likely to be in the process of establishing a new tobacco-free/smoke-free policy.
• When the CUNY system implements its tobacco-free policy by the Fall of 2012 it will likely be the largest system of colleges to voluntarily adopt a tobacco-free campus rule in the country.
• Currently 18% of SUNY campuses are tobacco free/smoke free and more than a quarter of them are planning to be in the near future.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.