Number of Smokers is Down on College Campuses
Here’s some encouraging public health news. According to a recent study by the American Lung Association, smoking is at an all-time low on college and university campuses across America.
On the other hand, warns the ALA, the news isn’t all good. One out of five students still smoke. Moreover, back in the early 1990s, there was a huge spike in college smoking after the percentage dropped down near its current 20 percent — so there’s reason to be nervous about another spike.
The ALA further reports that Big Tobacco is as aggressive as ever in promoting smoking on campus, spending a whopping $1 million a day on events and giveaways to promote their products. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, since these companies can’t promote products directly to high school students — so they target college students instead as the “next best thing,” since virtually all smokers pick up the habit when they’re young.
The ALA offers some great recommendations to college campuses for fighting back against Big Tobacco. These include prohibiting smoking on campus, refusing research dollars from tobacco companies, stopping the sale and advertising of tobacco on campus, and providing smoking cessation programs.