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cyan college program

Our Approach

Since 1998, the CYAN College Program has been partnering with college students, faculty, staff, and tobacco control professionals to transform tobacco-related norms on college campuses. Through training, education, and support, the College Program has been and continues to be successful in eliminating tobacco and tobacco industry presence in college communities.

The College Program is also responsible for coordinating the COUGH (Campuses Organized and United for Good Health) Coalition, a statewide movement working to promote tobacco-free college campuses throughout California.

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Our Work


The College Program provides in-person and web-based trainings for advocates working with a college or university on a variety of tobacco-related topics.  Trainings are customized based on where campuses are at with their smoke/tobacco-free policy efforts.

The following is a partial list of trainings our College Program team can provide:

  • Strategic Planning Session: Using the Midwest Academy Strategy Chart, CYAN staff can come to your campus and conduct a 4-hour strategy session with policy supporters on campus to strategize and plan a policy campaign targeting campus decision-makers and helping your team work through the complex shared governance process.

  • Student Advocate Training: CYAN staff can come to your campus, or conduct a webinar, for clubs, public health students, nursing students and other student advocates on campus.  This 1-2 hour training will include: the problem of tobacco, the benefits of a tobacco-free policy, and how to get started to make your campus tobacco-free.

  • Policy Implementation Best Practices: This 1 hour training can be provided in person or via webinar to campus taskforces.  The training will cover the importance of preparing a campus community for the change, the major tasks associated with the launch of a new policy, and successes and challenges that other California campuses have faced with policy implementation.

  • Enforcement Options Pros and Cons: This 1-hour training can be provided in person or via webinar to campus administration or taskforces.  The training covers stories from other campuses that have tried a variety of approaches to increase policy compliance and the pros and cons of each.

  • Policy Ambassador Program Training: Policy Ambassador Programs are becoming increasing popular as a way to increase compliance without the use of citations.  This 2-hour training can be provided in person or via webinar to campus staff or student leaders that will be coordinating a Policy Ambassador Program on campus.

  • Quit Services on Campus: This one half to one full day training offers the following sessions: tobacco use rates and trends among young adults in California, best practices in offering tobacco treatment on campus, and pharmacotherapy for tobacco treatment.  This training is for campus health care providers and administration.

Technical Assistance

CYAN’s College Program staff is committed to providing technical assistance and support to individuals, coalitions, and organizations advocating for tobacco-free colleges and universities.  We offer a variety of services to support local and statewide advocacy efforts including but not limited to the following:

  • One-on-one support (in person or by phone)

  • Assist with the development of policy campaigns

  • Provide support for drafting tobacco-free policies

  • Presentation development

  • Materials development



Each year, CYAN hosts a statewide conference for students, staff, and tobacco control professionals working on smoke/tobacco-free policy adoption, implementation, and enforcement. The conference provides individuals an opportunity to learn from others working on similar initiatives and network with partners from across the state. The 2019 conference will be held in Los Angeles on January 8th - 9th.


CYAN promotes two Statewide Days of Action, the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November, and Earth Day on April 22nd. Each Day of Action is designed to encourage quit attempts and provide advocates with an opportunity to bring attention to the issue of tobacco use on campus. 

COUGH Student Leadership Board

COUGH (Campuses Organized and United for Good Health) is a statewide student-led coalition that partners with CYAN to increase the number of smoke/tobacco-free colleges and universities in California. COUGH is led by a Board of students from University of California, California State University, and California Community College campuses as well as private institutions of higher education. Student leaders provide guidance to CYAN’s College Program throughout the academic year.


An assortment of tools and resources are available to support colleges and universities with the adoption, implementation, and enforcement of smoke/tobacco-free policies. Additionally, CYAN is pleased to offer materials to assist with the development and promotion of campus-based tobacco treatment services.

CYAN’s materials along with sample resources from California colleges can be found on our college website,