Syracuse University Tobacco-Free, truth® Campaign Celebrates

By Megan Weyrauch on July 20, 2015

Though today only 8 percent of teens smoke — which is down from 23 percent in 2000 — tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., making tobacco-free policies extra important.

truth, one of the most successful and one of the largest national youth smoking prevention campaigns, exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. Giving facts and information about the tobacco industry and its products to teens, the campaign is credited with keeping hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke.

The number of colleges and universities with 100 percent smoke- or tobacco-free policies has tripled in recent years, growing from 446 campuses in 2010 to 1,543 campuses in 2015. Because 94 percent of smokers start before age 20 and tobacco-free policies are proven effective tobacco control strategies, targeting college campuses proves highly effective.

Image by Dominik Martin via Unsplash

However, 6,100 college campuses in the U.S. have not adopted these tobacco- or smoke-free policies, including University of Southern California, Howard University, Northwestern University, George Mason University and Texas A&M.

But now, truth can at least celebrate one more university that has turned from the trend to put an end to tobacco use on its campus.

On July 14, 2015, Syracuse University officially became a tobacco-free campus, according to a recent press release, prompting the award-winning truth campaign to celebrate the victory in a new online video and to launch an online petition to spur more colleges and universities to adopt tobacco-free policies.

truth is highlighting Syracuse as an example of an effort to spark youth to use their passion, creativity and social influence to push their schools to go tobacco-free as a part of its Finish It campaign, which launched in August 2014.

“The Syracuse Orange experience offers a powerful example of how students can rally together to end tobacco,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Legacy, the national public health foundation that directs and funds truth, and a graduate of Syracuse University. “I’m proud of my alma mater, and I’m proud that truth is using Syracuse’s bold action to encourage other college students and campuses to go tobacco-free.”

Image by Global Panorama via

truth is highlighting additional areas of progress in the effort to make this the generation that ends tobacco use. Find these other “progress reports” online.

“College students have the power to end tobacco use,” said Ritney Castine, Director, Youth Activism at Legacy. “This online effort starts with the premise that any student can start or join a movement on his or her campus, share progress with students elsewhere and contribute to nationwide progress in the fight against the tobacco epidemic.”

Follow Syracuse University’s example and lead the charge on your campus to end tobacco use. Call on your college or university by signing on to the petition at

Hello! I am currently serving as the Director of News/Managing Editor for Uloop News. I recruit writers, edit many articles, manage interns, and lead our National Team. When I'm not writing or editing, I love to take part in community theater, read, and enjoy the outdoors with my husband Kevin. I have a Bachelor's degree in English and Professional Writing from Ohio State University and an M.Ed. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Wright State University. If you ever have questions or just want to chat, email me at

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