Why are tobacco/vape-free college campuses important?
With 98% of smokers starting before age 26, college campuses are critical to preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all. Tobacco/vape-free policies are especially important for institutions that serve populations disproportionately affected by tobacco – including people in low-income communities, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, military members and those with mental illness. Tobacco-free college policies reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, which results in 41,000 adult deaths annually.
The dangers of tobacco use are especially dire now, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named smoking a risk factor for developing severe illness from COVID-19. Additionally, research shows that young people who reported ever using e-cigarettes were up to five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19.