The American Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) Foundation maintains a list of Smokefree and Tobacco-Free U.S. and Tribal Colleges and Universities. To qualify for the list, campus policies must be 100% smokefree or 100% smoke- and tobacco-free, the latter meaning that neither smoking nor non-combustible tobacco use is permitted on campus. The ANR Foundation is often asked for further details about the criteria used to evaluate whether a campus policy qualifies for the list.


  1. Use one of the ANR Foundation’s model campus policies, available on our website:

a. Model Policy for a Smokefree College/University; OR
b. Model Policy for a Smokefree and Tobacco-Free College/University

  1. If any exemptions are provided in your policy, make sure they are limited to only:

a. Smoking or using tobacco inside one’s own vehicle; and/or
b. Fundamental traditional and ceremonial use of tobacco by Native American tribal members; and/or
c. Smoking or using tobacco for research purposes, in a controlled laboratory setting.

  1. Update your school’s website with full policy details. This not only educates the campus community about the scope of the policy and how people can comply, it also eliminates confusion and facilitates verification of eligibility by the ANR Foundation.


Maintain a 100% smokefree, or smokefree and tobacco-free policy. A simple, strong, and fair policy that applies consistently throughout the campus at all times is easier to enforce and is the best way to achieve the goal of having a healthier campus environment in which to live, work, and learn.

Permit Even Fewer Exemptions, if Any

Many campuses, which formerly had partial policies with many exemptions, have decided to become 100% smokefree under the ANR Foundation’s criteria after experiencing confusion and limited compliance with the partial policy. Now, many school policies contain no exemption language whatsoever. In fact, many campuses have gone a step further and have explicitly prohibited the use of smoking and tobacco products even inside personal vehicles while on campus. ANR Foundation’s smokefree and tobacco-free model policy language now reflects this trend as well, by explicitly prohibiting smoking and tobacco products inside personal vehicles on college property. Further, given recent trends, there may come a time when one or more of the three currently allowable exemptions listed above are no longer accepted by ANR Foundation.

Include E-Cigarettes, Hookah, and Marijuana

The majority of schools on the ANR Foundation’s colleges list prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices on campus wherever smoking is prohibited, often including e-cigarette use in the definition of smoking, which is consistent with the ANR Foundation’s model policies. Given the science and current trends, there may come a time when the ANR Foundation only considers a school to be truly smokefree, or smokefree and tobacco-free if e-cigarette use is included in its policy. Likewise, the use of hookahs/water pipes is an important consideration for smokefree air efforts targeting college age individuals. Persons in their teens and early twenties often find hookahs appealing for social reasons and because of the widespread misconception that there are reduced health risks associated with both active hookah smoking and secondhand hookah smoke. Finally, smokefree college policies, which are designed to protect students and all other persons on campus from exposure to the health hazards caused by exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, should also provide protection from secondhand marijuana smoke, which has been indicated by peer-reviewed and published studies to have harmful health effects similar to those of secondhand tobacco smoke.

The best way to ensure a secure position on our list is to make your policy as strong as possible at the outset.


  1. Theatrical production exemption: Actors simulate activities or actions (murder, sex, etc.); it’s their craft. Smoking is not a logical exception, regardless of whether or not representation of smoking is required by copyright. The key word is “representation.”
  2. “Permission of the president” exemption: This exemption, which often allows smoking and/or tobacco use at events or venues at the president’s discretion, is too vague and subject to abuse. The policy must describe exactly which activities warrant the president’s permission to smoke so that the ANR Foundation is able to determine whether the policy meets one of the three allowable exemptions.
  3. Broad/vague exemptions, such as “for educational purposes,” “for clinical purposes,” “for artistic purposes” or “for research-related purposes” (no controlled lab requirement), even when permission of the president is required. Exemptions must be narrowly tailored to avoid abuse/misrepresentation, and specifically defined so that ANRF is able to determine whether the policy meets one of the three allowable exemptions.
  4. Sports arena and/or special event exemption: Many schools include all areas of campus, at all times. When an arena on campus is exempted, the school is not truly 100% smokefree.
  5. Off-campus property exemptions, where the property is effectively an extension of campus, e.g. off-campus staff/student housing.
  6. Smoking area exemption. Even one designated smoking area on campus, no matter how small and/or remote (e.g. a parking lot or outside of one residence hall). If you can smoke on campus, the campus is not truly 100% smokefree. It also can create confusion and lead to noncompliance and enforcement challenges.


Many academic institutions prohibit tobacco-industry funding due to an inherent conflict of interest, and language to this effect is often found in their smokefree, or smokefree and tobacco-free campus policies. Your campus policy should reflect the same. Public policy interventions such as smokefree environments have proven effective at reducing tobacco use and tobacco- related disease. In contrast, tobacco industry success depends on an environment that supports tobacco use. Further, it is no secret that Big Tobacco has historically relied on academic research to suppress the dangers of smoking. In addition, as noted in the American Journal of Public Health, the industry “has portrayed targeted researchers as extremist, unqualified, or politically motivated; denigrated researchers to superiors, publishers, and the public; sued researchers; and worked to cut off researchers’ funding. The industry pursues these strategies through allied elected officials, front groups, and other third parties. These efforts can influence the policymaking process by silencing voices critical of tobacco industry interests and discouraging other scientists from doing research that may expose them to industry attacks.” (


Please visit the Colleges and Universities page on our website.


The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANR Foundation), is a non-lobbying, educational nonprofit organization (501 (c) 3), which creates comprehensive programs for youth of all ages on issues of smoking prevention, the benefits of smokefree air, and the right to breathe smokefree air. It provides educational resources for health departments, voluntary health organizations, medical organizations, community coalitions, and others interested in the issues surrounding smoking and secondhand smoke. Our goals are to raise a smokefree generation that rejects smoking/tobacco use and tobacco industry manipulation and interference tactics, and to educate the community about the health effects of secondhand smoke and the benefits of smokefree environments. We provide educational materials and training seminars for youth and adults to aid in the quest for a smokefree environment. The ANR Foundation is the only national repository of local tobacco-related ordinances and regulations in the United States. Our U.S. Tobacco Control Laws Database© was initially created in the 1980’s and serves as a key resource for public health professionals, researchers, advocates, and media outlets which use our data to document trends and research the effectiveness of tobacco-related legislation. Currently, the database contains over 17,550 laws from over 5,860 municipalities throughout the country, including all 50 states. Each quarter, ANR Foundation staff creates numerous lists, charts, and maps to illustrate the trend toward smokefree air. The Tobacco Control Laws data have been used in more than 550 peer-reviewed journal articles, studies, and/or reports, and in multiple NCI monographs and Surgeon Generals’ Reports.

The Colleges Database, which is the only national repository of smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies, is a unique resource in the field of tobacco control and in the field of public health generally; it currently contains over 1,600 records, each representing 107 distinct fields analyzed for each record of varying policy strength and provisions, and linking to an e-library of over 1,400 analyzed campus policy documents. More than 50 peer-reviewed articles have used ANR Foundation’s College Campus data. Research projects range from correlation of college policies with health and academic outcomes to impact of such policies on use and attitudes.