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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: To identify the trend amongst colleges in the USA to make college dormitories smokefree, how to raise awareness amongst policy-makers for the need to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke in their shared living quarters, and to protect all housing residents from fires started by smoking, how to draft legislation or a policy to effectuate smokefree college housing, and how to implement a smokefree college dormitory policy or law.
Methods: Conduct research on smokefree policies on college campuses. Educate decision-makers on the benefits of smokefree college dormitories, based on facts such as the hazards of secondhand smoke exposure, data on fire prevention, colleges that voluntarily require smokefree student housing, and similar legislation in other states.
Results: There is overwhelming support for smokefree-college housing, whether it's done on a voluntary basis, or by law. New Jersey has passed the most inclusive smokefree dormitory law, which includes both private and public colleges. Fire prevention was the original basis for creating the legislation, but preventing secondhand smoke exposure appears equally as important, once the law was passed. Only a handful of states in the USA have laws that mandate smokefree college housing and those cover only public colleges. But many colleges in the USA, both private and public, have voluntarily banned smoking from their college dormitories, and this trend is growing. Compliance issues are minimal, and smoking cessation is offered to students that wish to quit smoking.