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Few U.S. Universities Are Smoke-Free

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 -- Although many restaurants, offices and even apartment buildings are smoke-free, American universities appear to be an exception.

By 2017, only 1 in 6 had gone completely smoke-free or tobacco-free, a new study reveals.

"Continued success in increasing the adoption of comprehensive smoke-free and tobacco-free protections at institutions of higher learning will strengthen smoking prevention among nonsmokers, increase quitting among current smokers, and protect youth and young adults from the negative health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke," said researchers led by Dr. Kelly Blake of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The research team discovered smoking was still allowed in colleges and universities in the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Only Iowa at 87%, Arkansas at 62%, North Dakota at 55%, Guam at 67% and the Northern Mariana Islands at 100% had smoke-free policies in more than half of their higher-learning institutions.

The researchers estimated that only 27% of students and 25% of faculty members were covered by strict school or state smoke-free laws.

For the study, investigators used data from these two sources: the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation and the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

The report was published July 2 in the journal Tobacco Control.

More information

The American Lung Association offers more state-by-state information on smoke-free laws.

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Posted: July 2019

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