Tobacco Use Statistics

A friendly reminder that our entire campus is 100% smoke and tobacco-free!

As of April 1, 2020, there are a total of 2,490 smoke-free campuses around our country, of which 2,065 were fully tobacco free. There are 16 colleges/universities in Minnesota whose policies have met the criteria for being 100% tobacco-free. (1)

A no-smoking rule is not a “no smokers rule”. We are not excluding or judging those who wish to smoke; we are just asking them not to use tobacco on our campus.

Student Tobacco Use Statistics

The number of daily student smokers at Minnesota State Mankato has decreased by 64% over the last 10 years.(2)

While use of tobacco overall has been on the decline, the use of e-cigarettes among college students is still increasing nationwide: in 2016, only 4% of students had used an e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, and in 2019, 23% of students had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.(2)

The number of Minnesota State Mankato students using e-cigarettes daily went from just half of one percent in 2016 to 7% of students in 2019.

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Rationale for a 100% Tobacco-Free Policy

Having a 100% tobacco-free policy will help provide a supportive environment free of triggers to smoke, while also reducing the social acceptability of smoking.(3)

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There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke has been proven to travel outside of designated smoking areas.(3)

  • In the 2019 student tobacco use and exposure survey, 84% of respondents reported exposure to secondhand smoke on campus.(4)
  • 86% of employees surveyed have noticed tobacco waste on campus.(4)

Students and staff feel that the university is responsible for providing clean and tobacco-free environment on campus.(4)

  • 59% of students agreed that colleges have a responsibility to lessen the risk of tobacco addiction by adopting policies that discourage tobacco product use.
  • 79% of students surveyed and 88% of employees agreed that colleges have a responsibility as part of their mission to promote healthy behaviors to adopt policies that ensure people have smoke-free air to breathe.
  • 77% of students and 88% of employees agreed that colleges should not allow tobacco companies to promote tobacco products on campus through advertising, sponsorship of student events, and/or financial support of student organizations.

Given that 99% of adult cigarette smokers begin smoking before age 26 and also transition to daily use during young adulthood, universities are a key setting for protecting students, faculty, staff, and guests through tobacco control policies. If we don’t change the status quo on college campuses, it’s projected that more than 1 million current college students will die from tobacco use.(5)

 

Sources

  1. American Non-Smokers' Rights Foundation
  2. American College Health Association National College Health Assessment 2012-2019
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  4. Tobacco Free Generation Campus Initiative Program Evaluation Surveys
  5. Tobaccofreecampus.org