Nonsmoking college students 40 percent less likely to take up smoking when they live in smoke-free dorms

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Only 27 percent of colleges making dorms smoke-free

Although 81 percent of colleges prohibit smoking in all public areas, only 27 percent prohibit smoking in students’ dormitories. Harvard School of Public Health researchers say the finding sends a clear message that colleges can influence students not to smoke by banning the practice where they live. “These findings suggest that smoke-free dorms may help incoming college students who have not yet taken up smoking avoid tobacco addiction during college,” said Henry Wechsler, principal investigator and director of College Alcohol Studies at the Harvard School of Public Health. “While the difference in smoking rates may be, in part, due to self-selection by students into smoke-free housing, these residences appear to be protective. … All in all, smoke-free residences are a win-win situation.”