NC Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch

Jim D. Martin, MS
Director of Policy and Programs
Office: (919) 707-5404 
Fax: (919) 870-4844

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What is the North Carolina Tobacco-Free Colleges Movement?

This 2016 video on tobacco-free colleges includes at least two North Carolina campuses. Can you find them?

The  NC Tobacco-Free Colleges Initiative is a program of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (TPCB) that works to empower college campuses to challenge the tobacco status quo and protect students, employees, and visitors from the harms of  secondhand smoke and e-cigarette emissions.

TPCB's Regional Tobacco Control Managers work with colleges, universities and local coalitions to promote  policy adoption, reduce tobacco-related health disparities among special populations, and promote access to  tobacco cessation services among college students.

Does North Carolina law allow colleges, universities and community colleges to make comprehensive tobacco policies?

North Carolina law allows both private colleges and community colleges to prohibit all tobacco use on campus (G.S. 143-599) and become 100 percent tobacco-free, including e-cigarettes or vaping products. The law also prohibits smoking in UNC system dormitories beginning in the 2008-2009 academic year. G.S. 143-596 allows UNC system schools to prohibit smoking within 100 linear feet of campus buildings. The law also allows the medical facilities of UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University to completely prohibit smoking on the grounds and walkways of these facilities.

Why should college campuses be tobacco-free?

College students deserve safe, clean air. Tobacco-free policies on campuses contribute to changing the tobacco-free social norm in the same way smoke-free restaurants and K-12 schools have for North Carolina. Young adults (aged 18-24) smoke and vape at the highest rates among adult age groups, and quitting smoking before age 30 can drastically reduce their risk of tobacco-related diseases. Most smokers have tried to quit, and tobacco-free policies make quitting easier on campus.

How can I learn more about resources or about a specific campus?

Here you can look up the tobacco policy status of N.C. college campus policies. At  Resources you will find links to information on secondhand smoke and e-cigarette emissions, sample sign and compliance card art, model policies and how-to documents.

NCDHHS, Division of Public Health
North Carolina Public Health