Tobacco Use Statistics

A friendly reminder that our entire campus is 100% smoke and tobacco-free!

As of April 1, 2020, there are a total of 2,490 smoke-free campuses around our country, of which 2,065 were fully tobacco free. There are 16 colleges/universities in Minnesota whose policies have met the criteria for being 100% tobacco-free. (1)

A no-smoking rule is not a no smokers rule. We are not excluding or judging those who wish to smoke; we are just asking them not to use tobacco on our campus.

Student Tobacco Use Statistics

The number of daily student smokers at Minnesota State Mankato has decreased by 64% over the last 10 years.(2)

While use of tobacco overall has been on the decline, the use of e-cigarettes among college students is still increasing nationwide: in 2016, only 4% of students had used an e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, and in 2019, 23% of students had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.(2)

The number of Minnesota State Mankato students using e-cigarettes daily went from just half of one percent in 2016 to 7% of students in 2019.

Graph image showing the rise of E-cigarette use for Minnesota State Mankato students between 2016 and 2019

Rationale for a 100% Tobacco-Free Policy

Having a 100% tobacco-free policy will help provide a supportive environment free of triggers to smoke, while also reducing the social acceptability of smoking.(3)

Cessation culture at Minnesota State Mankato showing the percentage of students and employees that want to quite smoking

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke has been proven to travel outside of designated smoking areas.(3)

  • In the 2019 student tobacco use and exposure survey, 84% of respondents reported exposure to secondhand smoke on campus.(4)
  • 86% of employees surveyed have noticed tobacco waste on campus.(4)

Students and staff feel that the university is responsible for providing clean and tobacco-free environment on campus.(4)

  • 59% of students agreed that colleges have a responsibility to lessen the risk of tobacco addiction by adopting policies that discourage tobacco product use.
  • 79% of students surveyed and 88% of employees agreed that colleges have a responsibility as part of their mission to promote healthy behaviors to adopt policies that ensure people have smoke-free air to breathe.
  • 77% of students and 88% of employees agreed that colleges should not allow tobacco companies to promote tobacco products on campus through advertising, sponsorship of student events, and/or financial support of student organizations.

Given that 99% of adult cigarette smokers begin smoking before age 26 and also transition to daily use during young adulthood, universities are a key setting for protecting students, faculty, staff, and guests through tobacco control policies. If we don't change the status quo on college campuses, it projected that more than 1 million current college students will die from tobacco use.(5)


  1. American Non-Smokers' Rights Foundation
  2. American College Health Association National College Health Assessment 2012-2019
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  4. Tobacco Free Generation Campus Initiative Program Evaluation Surveys