Adopting a New Tobacco-Free Policy

Why are campuses going 100% tobacco-free?  The three-minute video explains the five reasons why campuses are adopting 100% smoke and tobacco-free policies.

As of April 2019, 2,356 colleges and universities in the United States have adopted 100% smoke-free policies.  Of these, 1,986 are 100% tobacco-free.  A growing number of these schools are also adopting or amending policies to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes. In California, 92public colleges and universities are 100% smoke or tobacco-free.  Of these, 81 campuses are 100% smoke/tobacco-free including e-cigarettes. Policy adoption can happen in all kinds of different ways, but in our experience there are two common paths to policy adoption, establishing a taskforce, or going through the shared governance process

We Recommend Establishing a Taskforce

Establishing a taskforce is essentially bringing all of the decision-makers that are a part of the shared governance into one group and holding regular meetings on this one topic. Taskforces can be especially helpful when the President of the campus appoints the taskforce and ensures representation from each decision-making group on campus.  Decision-makers on campus may include: Associated Student Government, Classified Senate (i.e. campus staff, Faculty Senate, Unions, and Administration (i.e. Student Services).

Tools and Resources

2019 College and University Smoke/Tobacco-Free Policy Report Card

The Report grades all 147 public colleges and universities on their current tobacco use policies.  The aim of the Report Card is to educate and encourage college decision makers to adopt and implement comprehensive smoke/tobacco-free policies that promote good health and wellness for all members of their campus community.

Full Report

Full Report



System-Wide Mandates

Leadership from each of California’s three public systems of higher education have stated that all campuses within their systems should adopt 100% smoke and tobacco-free policies.  Read their statements below.

CSU Executive Order

Chancellor White sent this executive order in April, 2017 requiring all CSU campuses to adopt 100% tobacco-free policies that year.

UC Executive Order

President Yudof required all UC campuses to adopt and implement 100% smoke and tobacco-free policies by January, 2014.

California Community
College Guidance Memo

Chancellor Oakley sent this guidance memo to all 114 California Community College campus Presidents on July 26th, 2018 informing them of the resolution adopted by the Board of Governors and urging the 72 districts to adopt smoke and tobacco-free policies.

Model Policies

CYAN compiled tested policy language that has been used by other campuses and in state law.  Use these models to ensure an airtight policy.

Model policy for CA Community Colleges

Sample College Board Policy

[Enter Name] Community College District is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students, employees, and visitors. In light of evidence that the use of tobacco and nicotine and exposure to second hand smoke and aerosol (commonly referred to as “vapor”) from electronic devices pose significant health and environmental hazards, the District has established a smoke, vapor,and tobacco-free environment…

Resolution of Support

Sample Smoke Free & Tobacco Free California Community Colleges Resolution

WHEREAS, in the United States of America tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e., about 480,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 41,000 of these tobacco-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure)1; and WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency has designated secondhand smoke to be a Group A carcinogen, where there is sufficient evidence that the substance causes cancer in humans …

Model Policy

Sample Smoke/ Tobacco­‐Free Policy
(100% Smoke/ Tobacco­‐Free)

…Tobacco smoke is hazardous to smokers and non­‐smokers alike. To promote a safe and healthy campus environment, [COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY NAME] has adopted this tobacco­-free policy…

Example Policies from Other Campuses

The best and most recent 100% smoke and tobacco-free policies from other campuses.

Yuba College

Solano College

University of San Francisco

Tobacco-Free Rationale, Talking Points, and FAQs

This document outlines the latest research on why so many colleges and universities are choosing to go tobacco-free, why they are getting rid of their designated smoking areas, and why they are including e-cigarettes in their policies.  This document includes talking points and frequently asked questions.

Recorded Webinars


Policy rationale and trends


Policy adoption webinar


Are We There Yet? How to measure policy success