Many colleges and universities embrace the opportunity to support members of the campus community in tobacco cessation. Numerous California colleges and universities have adopted a tobacco policy stronger than state law, and many more are continuing ongoing efforts to adopt stronger policies.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States. Non-smokers who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk for illness. Tobacco use rates are especially high among individuals 18-24 years of age. To address this disparity, colleges and universities have responded by strengthening tobacco-free policy and cessation services on campuses throughout California. Strong tobacco policies foster a campus culture of health and well being for staff, faculty, and students on college and university campuses.

An integral feature of successful tobacco policies is the availability of tobacco cessation services. In short, if you want people to stop using tobacco on campus, offer them help to quit. To learn more about ways that CYAN supports tobacco cessation, please visit cyanonline.

Best Practices

Many people quit tobacco without assistance, however, certain types of support can improve a person’s chances of successfully quitting.

Cessation Flow Chart
10 Key Recommendations
What Works to Quit

The US Department of Health and Human Services has developed recommendations for best practices in tobacco cessation. These recommendations are published in the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, 2008 Update.



CYAN's New Guide for Young Adults to Quit Tobacco

It is proven that younger populations tend to not use traditional methods of quitting tobacco. This is where technology plays an integral part in tobacco treatment. Our findings conclude that quit rates among people who use tobacco is increased when the use of smartphone apps and texting is included as part of a tobacco treatment plan. 

This new resource includes a list of new and traditional ways to quit tobacco. 

Click on the image to download a pdf copy of this tri-fold brochure.  Print in "landscape" format.

Developing a Program

Cessation services on campus reflect the different populations of individuals who may access them.


Students generally receive health services at the campus student health center. Depending on staffing, cessation services are often provided by a health educator, nurse, or other medical provider. Sometimes, services for tobacco cessation are provided by psychological counseling services staff. Some campuses have responded to the need for cessation services by training peer health educators to provide tobacco cessation support to other students. The services offered by different campuses vary, but they often include offering cessation counseling and low or no cost medication for tobacco cessation, and campus outreach. Students can also access free tobacco cessation counseling by calling the California Smokers’ Helpline, a free telephone based services that offers tobacco cessation counseling at 1800-NO-BUTTS.

Student Veterans

An estimated 2.2 million veterans reside in California (the largest number in the nation). The number of veterans who enroll in California universities and colleges is quickly rising as many take advantage of their post 9/11 GI Bill. Student veterans have higher rates of tobacco use, and different tobacco cessation needs than civilian students. Colleges and universities can provide cessation support through campus veteran centers as well as through the health services. For military tobacco cessation resources and information, please visit Project UNIFORM. For culturally appropriate cessation services for student veterans and military service members, contact the California Smokers’ Helpline. Cessation information is also available at Quit Tobacco – Make Everyone Proud, a free Department of Defense service that offers live chat and other resources.

Staff and Faculty

Staff and faculty usually are not eligible for services at the campus health center, however cessation support can often be accessed from a primary medical provider, with their Employee Assistance Program, or with human resources. Staff and faculty can also access free tobacco cessation counseling by phone with the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1800-NO-BUTTS.

Campus Examples

Promoting a Program


Members of the campus community including students, staff, faculty, may need support with quitting tobacco, but might not know that there are programs available on campus to help them quit. Promotional materials such as brochures, posters, and ads, and promotional activities such as presentations and outreach events on campus let people know what services exist and how to access them.


Promotional Designs

CYAN can mail any of these resources to California colleges or universities, or, to download any of these materials, choose a design and click from the list to download a flyer, postcard or poster.

Campus Examples

These are promotional materials some campuses have produced. Contact CYAN to develop something like this for your own campus.

Community Resources

CA Smokers’ Helpline

Community tobacco cessation services can vary widely throughout the state. Services can often be found at local hospitals, health departments, and through private practice cessation providers. The California Smokers’ Helpline maintains a database of cessation resources by county where individuals can search for cessation services in their area.

Free telephone counseling for tobacco cessation is widely available in the United States. Telephone counseling has been shown to be effective in helping people quit tobacco.


1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887)

The California Smokers’ Helpline provides free support for individuals in California to quit tobacco. Click above to request educational materials from the California Smokers’ Helpline.

1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8663)

Additional Online Resources

Office on Smoking and Health (OSH)

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through OSH, is the lead federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. OSH is a division within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which is located within CDC’s Coordinating Center for Health Promotion. OSH offers a wealth of information and resources for individuals seeking more information on tobacco use and cessation.



From the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute



From the US Department of Health and Human Services

BeTobaccoFree.gov offers general information on tobacco, health effects of tobacco use, as well as information and resources for tobacco prevention and cessation.