Tobacco, Nicotine, and Smoking

As of January 1, 2024, Kalamazoo College is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus (Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy).

Effects of Tobacco, Smoking, and Vaping

Body (as a whole)

Smoking and tobacco use:

  • Can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body.
    • Bladder
    • Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
    • Cervix
    • Colon and rectum (colorectal)
    • Esophagus
    • Kidney and ureter
    • Larynx
    • Liver
    • Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
    • Pancreas
    • Stomach
    • Trachea, bronchus, and lung
  • Heightens susceptibility to influenza, pneumonia, and colds.
  • Increases the likelihood for a longer recovery time after surgery.
  • Causes clogged arteries.


Smoking and tobacco use:

  • Increases the risk of a stroke.
  • Increases the risk of dementia.
  • Increases the likelihood of mental illness.

Ears, Eyes, Nose, Throat and Mouth

Smoking and tobacco use:

  • Is linked to hearing loss and vision problems:
    • Glaucoma
    • Cataracts
    • Age-related degeneration
  • Increases yellowing of the nails and teeth.
  • Is linked to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.


Smoking and tobacco use:

  • Increases the risk of developing heart disease, peripheral artery disease, an aneurysm.
  • Increases the likelihood of death caused by the diseases named above.


Smoking and tobacco use:

  • Can cause chronic coughing, increased phlegm, emphysema and bronchitis.
  • Can trigger an asthma attack or make an attack worse.
  • Increase the likelihood of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Bones, Hair and Skin

Smoking and tobacco use:

  • Is associated with the progression of atherosclerosis and hypertension.
  • Increases the risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Reduces the elasticity in the skin, which causes more prominent skin wrinkling.
  • Reduces bone density and contributes to bone loss.
  • May lead to the development of hidradenitis suppurativa (a skin condition that causes painful boils), and psoriasis.
  • May cause hair loss.

Reproductive Organs

Smoking and tobacco use:

  • May reduce fertility.
  • Leads to impotence among men.
  • Increases risks for:
    • Preterm (early) delivery
    • Stillbirth (death of the baby before birth)
    • Low birth weight
    • Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS)
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Orofacial clefts in infants
  • May cause menopause to come earlier.

Cessation (Quitting) Resources

Kalamazoo College is strongly committed to supporting individuals to become nicotine-free. Nicotine replacement therapy products (e.g., nicotine patches, gum) for the purpose of cessation are permitted provided they do not give the appearance of smoking. If you would like assistance in quitting, please contact or visit any of the resources below.