New Year, New Rules? 2019 Sees Tobacco and Vape Bans on College Campuses

New Year, New Rules? 2019 Sees Tobacco and Vape Bans on College Campuses
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Skidmore College and UAlbany have already made good on their New Year's resolution by banning all smoking and tobacco use throughout campus, including outdoor areas, effective January 1. Skidmore partnered with the Living Tobacco-Free Initiative, a program of the Health Promotion Center of Glens Falls Hospital, which encourages community members to resolve major health and economic implications of tobacco use and will provide the college with information, resources, and examples about planning, implementing and sustaining a tobacco-free campus policy.

After surveying students, faculty and staff, Skidmore College determined it was time to implement a smoke-free campus. Skidmore's move to ban all smoking and tobacco use, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices is part of a larger trend on U.S. college and university campuses, which has more than doubled between 2012 and 2017. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration's National Youth Tobacco Survey, the percentage of high school-age children reporting use of e-cigarettes in the past 30 days at the time of the survey rose by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018. Just recently, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams "issued an advisory stressing the importance of protecting children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use."

Skidmore and UAlbany emphasized the ban applies to e-cigarettes and vaping devices "because nicotine in any form is highly addictive." In addition to the prohibitions, the colleges are also promoting craving management and smoking cessation programs to help smokers drop the habit.

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