Monday, September 24, 2018 - 10:05am

A recent survey of UW-Madison students, faculty and staff shows that 8 in 10 support UW-Madison going tobacco-free, meaning no use of cigarettes, tobacco products like chew and little cigars, and vaping products on campus.

A survey conducted in October 2017 by the Tobacco-Free Columbia-Dane County Coalition, in partnership with Public Health Madison and Dane County and the UW Madison SPARK group, found that of the 7,235 students to respond, 81% supported UW-Madison going tobacco-free. In addition, 85% of the 1,779 faculty/academic staff respondents, and 77% of the 682 university staff respondents showed support.

In addition, survey results showed:

  • Two-thirds of tobacco users either support or are neutral towards a tobacco-free campus.
  • 33% of students that use e-cigarettes started using after arriving on campus.
  • 3 of every 4 respondents reported being exposed to secondhand smoke on campus at least sometimes.

“Nicotine can change the structure of a still-developing young adult brain, making it more susceptible to other addicting behaviors,” says UW-SPARK President Marina Caliendo. “Our campus organization is dedicated to educating the UW-Madison campus about the harmful effects of tobacco use, including vaping. Ultimately, we envision a tobacco-free UW-Madison where no one is exposed to secondhand smoke or vapor, and all students can enjoy a healthier environment”, adds Caliendo.

Current Big Ten Universities that have passed tobacco-free policies include Minnesota (2014), Ohio State (2014), Michigan State (2016), Nebraska (2018), Penn State (Jan 2019). In addition, Marquette University (2017) is tobacco-free.

For more information about the Tobacco-Free Columbia-Dane County Coalition, contact Coordinator Ryan Sheahan, at 608-242-6297or visit