University President Jonathan Holloway announced today that the University will prohibit the use of tobacco on all campuses beginning January 2023.
The new policy forbids the use of all tobacco products by students, employees and visitors on all three campuses, including both indoor and outdoor locations, according to a press release.
The initiative updates the University’s existing policy that prohibits smoking inside and within 30 feet of on-campus buildings, according to the release. Smokeless tobacco products, hookah, e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products will all be banned on campus.
The initiative is informed by research from the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies that found that 90 percent of tobacco users begin experimenting with the substance before age 18, and 99 percent of individuals who use tobacco regularly begin by the age of 26, according to the release.
Overall, the policy aims to decrease the prevalence of tobacco use and smoking among young people during their university years, which is when they are most likely to start these behaviors, as well as support any individual using tobacco who wants to stop.
“By declaring our campuses tobacco-free, we aim to make our community a healthier place to live, learn and work as we educate smokers about the resources available to help them quit,” Holloway said.
The University will also emphasize access to relevant counseling services, including the Rutgers Tobacco Dependence Program and NJ Tobacco Quit Services to help students and employees to stop using tobacco, according to the release.
With the new policy, Rutgers will join thousands of colleges and universities that prohibit e-cigarette use, smoking and the use of other tobacco products on campus.
“By discouraging young people from starting to use cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, by encouraging current tobacco users to quit, and in doing so reducing secondhand smoke exposure, this policy will improve the health of students, faculty and staff,” said Kevin Schroth, an associate professor at the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and the Rutgers School of Public Health.