Few U.S. schools of nursing on campuses with smoke-free policies: A Call for Action

Janie Heath, Patricia J. Hollen, Stella Aguinaga Bialous, Bethany Coyne, Linda Sarna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Recognizing that smoke-free policies can significantly reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality by preventing exposure to second-hand smoke and increasing quit rates, members of the Tobacco Control Subgroup of the American Academy of Nursing's (AAN) Health Behavior Expert Panel launched a health policy initiative entitled the Smoke-Free Campus Policy for Schools of Nursing Campaign. Designed as a two-phased initiative, the Campaign is a Call to Action to increase smoke-free policies on campuses with Schools of Nursing across the United States by 2020. Methods: Phase I of the AAN Campaign included a cross-sectional study using secondary data analysis to describe the presence of smoke-free policies on campuses of Schools of Nursing across the United States. A list of colleges and universities with smoke-free policies maintained by the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation in January 2015 was accessed to conduct the analysis. Schools of Nursing granting baccalaureate and graduate nursing degrees were included. Descriptive statistics were obtained for Schools of Nursing by region of the country and by highest level of nursing degree program of study at each institution. Results: Smoke-free policies of 689 Schools of Nursing were examined. Of these, 442 (64%) did not have 100% smoke-free policies on their campuses. A greater percentage of nursing schools without a smoke-free policy were located in the Northeast (114, 79%) and West (70, 73%). Nearly half (57, 46%) of the Schools of Nursing with a PhD/DNS program had a smoke-free policy in place compared with all other degree program levels (BS/BSN: 69, 35%; MS/MSN: 83, 35%; DNP: 38, 30%). Conclusions: With only 247 (36%) of Schools of Nursing on campuses with comprehensive smoke-free policies, more must be performed to promote healthy learning and working environments for nursing students, staff, and faculty. As public health advocates, nursing leaders in Schools of Nursing have a moral and ethical imperative to advance tobacco control on college campuses to meet the American College Health Association goals for smoke-free/tobacco-free environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Schools of nursing
  • Smoke-free policy
  • Tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)


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