Duke Modifies Policy to Prohibit all Tobacco Products in July 2020

Policy includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping-based products and other forms of tobacco

As of July 1, 2020, Duke has become a Tobaco Free Campus.
Duke now prohibits the use of all tobacco-based products, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, hookahs, chewing tobacco, snuff, and electronic smoking devices such as e-cigarettes, vaping products, and IQOS.

Duke Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In April 2018, Duke University announced a new smoke-free policy that would prohibit the use of combustible tobacco on campus beginning July 1, 2020 as part of the Healthy Duke initiative. Since that time, our medical experts have reviewed the growing body of evidence on the health risks associated with e-cigarettes (or vaping), which would have been allowed under the previously announced policy.

The Center for Disease Control has now recognized the emergence of a new and aggressive syndrome called E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). This syndrome causes severe and sometimes fatal lung injury and commonly affects young people who are otherwise healthy. Combined with the rapid increase of vaping and use of e-cigarettes in recent years, especially among college-age students, we have reconsidered these provisions of the policy.

After extensive consultation with students, faculty and staff, as well as with clinical experts,  Duke will expand the policy to include all tobacco products, including all electronic smoking devices such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, cigarettes, cigars, hookah, chewing tobacco, snuff, IQOS, and all other forms of tobacco.

This comprehensive policy, which is consistent with the policy currently in place for Duke Health, will go into effect on July 1, 2020, and apply to all facilities and property owned or leased by Duke.

We are announcing this policy change now to allow sufficient time and opportunity for members of our community to seek support and treatment before it goes into effect on July 1. Nicotine dependence is an addiction that is not easily overcome and often requires treatment. The Duke Smoking Cessation Program will work with all members of the Duke community to provide a highly effective, evidence-based treatment program to support those who want to quit.

Tobacco dependence counseling and medications are now for free or a small fee to all students and employees. Students are encouraged to call 919-681-9355 to access services. Faculty and staff are encouraged to fill out an enrollment form or call 919-684-3136 and select option 1.  

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in North Carolina and the United States.  More than half of smokers die from an illness caused by smoking. With this new policy, Duke will join more than 2,000 colleges and universities in the United States that have already adopted tobacco-free policies (including noncombustible and smokeless tobacco such as e-cigarettes) to help address this health crisis.

Additional details and resources will be distributed in the coming weeks to support our transition to a tobacco-free campus. You can also find more information on the Healthy Duke website

Thank you for helping to build a healthier Duke University.


A. Eugene Washington,
Chancellor for Health Affairs, President & CEO, DUHS

Kyle Cavanaugh,
Vice President of Administration

On behalf of the Duke Healthy Campus Steering Committee