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Tobacco-Free College Program

Grants to USA Minority-Serving IHEs to
Implement No-Smoking Policies on Campus

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Truth Initiative

Deadline Date:

09/13/18 5:00 PM ET


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Grants of up to $20,000 to USA and territories minority-serving universities, colleges, and community colleges to support the development and implementation of campus-wide no-smoking policies. Proposals must contain an element of student engagement. In addition to funding, grantees will receive technical assistance through learning communities, webinars, and one-on-one consultations throughout the project period.

The goal of the program is to adopt a college-wide policy by June 2020. Grant activities must engage and mobilize the student population and create support among faculty, staff and administration for the policy.


Support for 100% smoke-free or tobacco-free policies on college campuses has skyrocketed in recent years. The number of college and universities with 100% smoke-free or tobacco-free policies tripled from 446 campuses in 2010 to 1827 campuses in 2016.1 With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 27, college campuses are critical to preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all.

Since 2015, Truth Initiative has awarded funding to 152 historically black colleges and universities and community colleges to advocate for, adopt and implement a 100% smoke-free or tobacco-free policy.

About Truth Initiative:

Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public-education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and the innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco. The Washington, D.C.-based organization, formerly known as Legacy, was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry

Truth Initiative recognizes and honors the fact that tobacco may have a sacred cultural place in American Indian life. Many Native American tribes use tobacco for spiritual, ceremonial, and traditional healing purposes. Truth Initiative, therefore, distinguishes traditional, ceremonial and spiritual use of tobacco from its commercial use. Truth Initiative promotes tobacco control efforts that do not target traditional tobacco.

Allowable costs for student engagement (must be at least 15% of total budget) include but are limited to:
-Printing/production of educational and marketing materials
-Expenses for a student engagement event or advocacy action including speaker fees, room rental, AV equipment, food, and supplies
-Printing/production of items to promote a tobacco-free environment such as pins, buttons, t-shirts, socks, fidget spinners, hacky sacks, etc. All youth and young adult items utilizing the truth logo will be designed by Truth Initiative and provided to colleges for production.
-Incentives for student participation in surveys or research

Additional allowable project-related costs include:
-Personnel costs including staff time or stipends for student interns
-Development and printing of smoke-free/tobacco-free policy signage
-Meeting and event expenses including speaker fees, room rental, AV equipment, and food
-Photocopying and printing costs
-Office supplies
-Indirect or overhead cost, not to exceed 8% of total request

100% Smoke-Free or Tobacco-Free Policy Definition:

A 100% tobacco-free policy prohibits the use of any tobacco product, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco (otherwise known as dip, chew, snuff, spit, and snus) and other smokeless products. It can include nicotine delivery devices such as electronic cigarettes. The primary concern of a tobacco-free policy is overall health, sanitation, and the environment. Also, a comprehensive tobacco-free policy may also address tobacco sales, marketing, sponsorship and investments.

A 100% smoke-free policy is one that prohibits the use of smoke-producing tobacco, such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes, and hookah. It can include nicotine delivery devices such as electronic cigarettes. The primary concern of a smoke-free policy is secondhand smoke.

With either policy, smoking and/or the use of smokeless tobacco products are strictly prohibited in all indoor and all outdoor campus property, including parking lots, facilities, and vehicles, whether owned, rented, or leased. Designated smoking areas on campus are prohibited. The policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus, regardless of the purpose for their visit.

Truth Initiative recognizes and honors the fact that tobacco may have a sacred cultural place in American Indian life. Tobacco used for sacred, ceremonial, or traditional purposes may be exempt from policies.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172501

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $20,000

Term of Contract:

The project period will be on or around February 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Please note that this program uses the general term “college” to refer to an institution of higher education such as a university, college, community college, etc.

Funding is available only to minority-serving institutions of higher education (MSIs) and public community colleges in the 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and five US territories which signed the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands). Applicants must be either an MSI or a public community college or a women's college as described below:

-Minority-serving institutions are defined by the Department of Education as institutions of higher education enrolling populations with significant percentages of undergraduate minority students, or that serve certain populations of minority students under various programs created by Congress.

-Community colleges are defined as institutions that primarily grant two-year associate degrees and are accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies.

-Women’s colleges are defined as higher institutions that exclusively enroll women in undergraduate studies

Eligible colleges must fall into at least one of the categories described above.

Eligible colleges include those that do not currently have a 100% smoke-free or 100% tobacco-free policy. For example:

-If your college currently does not have a smoke-free policy or your college has less than a 100% smoke-free policy (for example, smoking is prohibited in buildings but permitted in designated areas on campus), you may apply for funds to support the advocacy, adoption, and implementation of a 100% smoke-free policy or 100% tobacco-free policy.

-If your college currently has a 100% smoke-free policy and you want to strengthen it to adopt a 100% tobacco-free policy, you are not eligible.

-If your college currently has a 100% smoke-free policy and you want to strengthen it to include additional products such as e-cigarettes, you are not eligible.

-If your college currently has a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy and you want funding to support implementation efforts, you are not eligible.

Colleges that received or are receiving Truth Initiative funding through the HBCU or Community College Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free College Grant Program are not eligible for this current grant program.

Any official entity – department, administrative unit, sanctioned group or club, etc. – within a college may apply with authorization of the college administration. For example, the college president’s office, nursing department, college health center, facilities management department, or student government may apply. If approved, the grant will be awarded to the college and the official entity that applied (department, administrative unit, sanctioned group or club, etc.) will be responsible for carrying out the grant activities. College foundations may also apply on behalf of the college. Applicants will be required to provide one letter of support for the project from an authorized representative of the college administration.

All applicants must identify a project lead. The project lead must be a member of the college faculty or staff. Students cannot be the project lead but are required to be involved with coordination of project activities and advocacy campaigns.

To avoid any real, potential, or perceived conflict of interest between Truth Initiative’s grant recipients and any tobacco-related entities, Truth Initiative will not award funding to any applicant that is in current receipt of any grant monies or in-kind contribution from any tobacco manufacturer, distributor, or other tobacco-related entity. In addition, Truth Initiative requires that an awardee will not accept any grant monies or in-kind contribution from any tobacco manufacturer, distributor, or other tobacco-related entity over the duration of the grant.

Unallowable project-related costs include:
-Nicotine replacement therapy
-Capital expenditures
-Equipment expenses (such as computers, film equipment, etc.)

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for applications is Thursday, September 13 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. All applicants will be notified by email in late November 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:;

Watch a recording of a grant information webinar here:

If you have questions about the online application system (for example, how to create an online account or upload a file), please contact:

Robin Scott, Grants Manager

If you have programmatic questions about the initiative (for example, eligibility, required program elements, or allowable activities), please contact:

Kristen Tertzakian, Assistant Director of Community Engagement

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)