Of the roughly 20 million college and university students in the United States, more than 1 million are projected to die prematurely from cigarette smoking. In order to counter the effects of tobacco and secondhand smoke on college age students, we support 100% smoke-free/tobacco-free colleges and campuses.
While approximately 90% of smokers start by age 18, studies show that 99% of smokers will start by age 26, which makes smoke-free/tobacco-free colleges and campuses extremely important. The tobacco industry is fully aware of this age-group’s vulnerability to start smoking and they aggressively market to young adults, particularly through flavored tobacco products.
We must take a stand and lift-up the young adults in our neighborhoods by supporting more effective tobacco prevention, cessation efforts, and eliminating secondhand smoke exposure in learning environments.
In California, 59% of college campuses are 100% smoke or tobacco-free.
Moreover, many colleges are now becoming “tobacco-free” rather than simply “smoke-free” to prevent the use of smokeless tobacco products on campus. Additionally, colleges are updating their policy definitions of “smoking” to include the use of e-cigarettes.
While significant progress is being made, there is still a long way to go to reach 100% smoke-free/tobacco-free colleges and campuses across California. We look forward to working with our communities to ensure every college and campus throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial County implements a 100% smoke-free/tobacco-free policy.