EDUCATION, School

More U.S. Colleges And Universities Adopting Tobacco-Free Policies

According to cdc.gov, more than twice as many U.S. college and university campuses were smoke free or tobacco free in 2017 as in 2012.

The agency noted that as of November 2017, at least 2,082 U.S. college and university campuses prohibited smoking in all indoor and outdoor areas, up from 774 campuses in 2012.

It further noted that in 2017, among the 2,082 campuses with smoke-free policies, 84 percent were tobacco-free. By comparison, of the 774 smoke-free college and university campuses in 2012, 73 percent were tobacco-free, using data from ANRF’s College Campus Tobacco Policy Database.

“Colleges and universities are ideal places to promote healthy behaviors that can continue for a lifetime, including being tobacco free,” reportedly said Corinne Graffunder, Dr.P.H, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

Additionally, she said, “Tobacco-free campus policies could help reduce tobacco use and provide people with a healthier environment to live, work, and learn.”

According to the agency, the benefits garnered from Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Policies include:

The Protection of nonusers from the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosol.

Reduction of social acceptability of tobacco product use.

Promotion of cessation of the act of smoking.

Prevention of tobacco use initiation.

Brian King, Ph.D., deputy director for research translation in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, noted that young people are turning to a variety of tobacco products.

He said, “The tobacco product landscape is changing, and our nation’s young people are using a variety of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and hookahs.”  

He further noted, “It’s important that we keep pace by ensuring our proven tobacco prevention and control interventions include these products.”

The agency also posited that the following could be done to help arrest the problem:

Increasing the price of tobacco products.

Protecting people from exposure to secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol.

Continuing hard-hitting media campaigns that warn about the dangers of using tobacco products.

Restricting youth access to all tobacco products.

Each year in the United States, cigarette smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths, including more than 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking adults.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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