Objective: To develop a reliable and efficient method for assessing prevalence and strength of college/university tobacco-related policies.
Participants: North Carolina (NC) public universities, community colleges, and private colleges/universities (N = 110).
Methods: A census of policies using campus handbooks and Web sites was conducted in March 2011.
Results: The rating tool is reliable and valid. Ninety-nine percent of NC college/university campuses are smoke-free in all indoor areas. The majority (94/110 [85%]) of colleges and universities regulate smoking and/or tobacco in some or all outdoor areas. Less than 20% of campuses had restrictions for industry marketing, promotion, and sales.
Conclusions: Clean indoor air policies are present at all but 1 NC college/university campus, and a growing number have enacted broad outdoor limits to protect students, faculty, and staff from secondhand smoke. Policy census approaches across all other states would quantify the national tobacco-free college campus policy environment and facilitate adoption of tobacco-free campus policies.