Colleges and Universities

Understanding the Problem

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable and premature death, killing an estimated 443,000 Americans and 11,700 Georgians each year.

Nearly all tobacco use starts by age 26. According to the  Download this pdf file. 2012 Surgeon General's Report  on Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults:

  • In 2010, there were more than 20 million students enrolled in degree-granting institutions. This does not include faculty, staff, and visitors to campuses who are also impacted by a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy.
  • Many risk factors, including tobacco use, peak from 18 - 25 years of age; college attendance could be a turning point in choosing not to use tobacco products.
  • 24.8% of full-time college students aged 18 - 22 years old were current smokers in 2010.
  • The number of smokers who initiated smoking after age 18 increased from 600,000 in 2002 to 1 million in 2010.
  • While smoking rates are higher for their peers not enrolled in college, college students and campus policies offer a unique opportunity to create and sustain tobacco-free living.

New trends in tobacco products, such as electronic smoking devices are also a concern among college campuses. According to the American College of Health Association (2018), 12.9% of college students have used e-cigarettes within the last 30 days. Additionally, secondhand aerosol from electronic smoking devices is not harmless water vapor. The aerosol created by e-cigarettes can contain ingredients that are harmful and potentially harmful to the public’s health, including nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings; volatile organic compounds; and heavy metals.

Adopting and implementing a tobacco-free policy not only helps to save the lives of tobacco users but also protects the rest of the campus community who may be at risk for secondhand smoke exposure.

100% Tobacco-Free Colleges and Universities in Georgia

52 out of 121 colleges/universities are 100% tobacco-free.

Click  Download this pdf file. here  to see if your college/university has adopted and implemented a 100% tobacco-free college/university policy.

Here’s How You Can Support Your College/University Policy

This  Download this pdf file. toolkit  can assist colleges and universities within the state of Georgia in adopting, implementing and enforcing a tobacco-free campus policy. 

How to Adopt the 100% Tobacco-Free Colleges and Universities Policy

This is a of a model Download this doc file. 100% Tobacco-Free College and University Policy Template

Additional resources

E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults

Download this pdf file. Colleges and Universities Handout

Tobacco-Free Colleges and Universities

Quitting is your best option to reduce your risk from smoking and tobacco use-related diseases. Vaping is not a healthy alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes and vape products are not FDA-approved cessation devices. For more information and support to help you quit contact the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line.

Click HERE for more information about quitting.

Page last reviewed 10/25/2023