Back to Conference page
The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: The goal of the Tobacco-Free Colleges Report Card project was to foster the creation of campus environments that would discourage tobacco use and encourage cessation, especially among young adults (18-24 years). At least 50% of the 325,000 young adults in San Diego County attend one of the area's 13 two-year and four-year colleges. Ten years ago the smoking rate for California young adults was the same as the overall adult rate: 16.7%. By 2004 the young adult smoking rate (18.3%) was 20% higher than the overall adult rate (15.4%). Campuses are important venues for counteracting tobacco companies' successful buzz marketing efforts.
Methods: The multi-year effort focused on framing the issue; educating key opinion leaders; developing report card criteria; providing technical assistance on policy development and implementation; and, conducting a comprehensive media advocacy campaign
Results: Report card criteria were based, in large part, on the recommendations of the American College Health Association. All institutions were graded on: Promotion of Tobacco; Sale of Tobacco; Support of Tobacco Cessation Efforts; Strength of Smoke-Free Policies; and Communication and Enforcement of Smoke-Free Policies. Four-year colleges were graded on a sixth category: Housing, Stadiums and Research. On the 2004 Report Card, 7 colleges received an F grade, and 5 received a grade of B or higher. On the 2005 Report Card, no colleges received an F, and 10 received a B or higher. The Report Card was an effective tool for assessing college tobacco control policies and motivating rapid improvement.