Tobacco Free U: 2013 New York Report
American Cancer Society Report Shows Increasing Trend of NYS College Campuses Going Tobacco Free/Smoke Free
New York, NY (March 19, 2013) – Almost one quarter of colleges across New York State received an “A” and made the first-ever Dean’s List from the American Cancer Society for their strong policies that ban tobacco use on campus. Smoke-free and tobacco-free campuses are part of a growing trend that is detailed in a new American Cancer Society report released today in recognition of “Kick Butts Day”.
According to the American Cancer Society’s "Tobacco-Free U: New York State Dean’s List," the number of colleges that have adopted tobacco-free/smoke-free policies since the mid-2000s has increased 30 fold. 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.
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 (204 colleges and universities). Key findings of the report include:
· Forty-eight colleges in NYS received an A grade based on the American Cancer Society criteria for being 100% tobacco-free.
· One third of colleges (67) in the state are either smoke-free or tobacco-free.
· Nearly half of college campuses have implemented or are in the process of putting into place a 100% smoke-free/tobacco-free policy.
· NYS has the largest number of smoke-free/tobacco-free college campuses in the country.
· 46 % of public campuses in NYS are smoke-free/tobacco-free while 24% of private colleges have met the criteria for a smoke-free/tobacco-free campus policy.
“Colleges need to be committed to providing safe and healthy learning environments for their students; creating the healthiest culture on campus should be a priority”, said Alvaro Carrascal, Senior Vice President of Cancer Control for the American Cancer Society. “We are seeing a tremendous increase in smoke-free campus policies across the country. All of New York State colleges need to be a part of this movement.”
Besides reducing exposure to secondhand smoke there are many reasons for implementing tobacco-free/smoke-free policies. In addition to the clear health and economic benefits, it can improve productivity, increase class attendance, lower maintenance and cleaning costs, reduce fire risk, lower insurance rates and teaches respect for others and the campus environment.
According to the American Cancer Society, college campuses are an important target of the tobacco industry. Tobacco companies understand that during the college years is when many students solidify long-term lifestyle choices. In NYS, the rate of smoking in the 18-24 age group (21.6 percent) is 58% percent higher than that of high school age students (12.5 percent). While smoking among 18-24 year olds is harmful to the individual smoker, it also endangers non-smokers through secondhand smoke exposure.
For more information about Tobacco-Free U and to access the report, visit cancer.org/nynj. To get tips on how to quit smoking, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log onto cancer.org.
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.