SUNY Canton Going Tobacco-Free in 2013

Hop the HabitSUNY Canton will soon join the growing list of U.S. colleges and universities to adopt a tobacco-free campus policy as the College continues its efforts to provide a healthy environment for its students and employees.

Becoming a tobacco-free campus will have a positive impact in many ways and will enhance community life, improve productivity through better health and possibly decrease health care costs,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “Smoking has been prohibited in buildings and entryways for many years on our campus, so extending the ban to campus grounds and including all tobacco and smoking products is a natural progression for the College.”

Over the next three semesters, the College will implement an informational campaign to educate the community on the policy, which will be implemented in phases with full enforcement to begin in the Spring 2013 semester.

“This initiative was an idea brought forward by both students and employees,” Kennedy noted. “Most people understand the health advantages of implementing such a policy and I also hope to see less campus litter related to tobacco products.”

Kennedy appointed a committee to determine the College’s readiness to adopt a tobacco-free policy and to gauge public opinion. Committee members met to discuss the current SUNY Canton tobacco policies and potential changes during this planning and assessment period. Earlier this year, an internal campus survey was completed to garner further information from the campus community.

Kennedy is hopeful other colleges and universities will follow in the College’s footsteps. “SUNY Canton is among the first colleges within the SUNY system to implement this policy. We hope to lead by example and have other schools take similar actions on their campuses as it provides a healthier learning and work environment for everyone. It’s very similar to the tobacco policies already in place in public school districts,” he said.

The College will establish a series of programs to assist those who wish to break tobacco addictions between now and the implementation date. In Spring 2013, full compliance will be expected of all students and employees, according to Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Academic Services Molly Mott.

“The Roos House and surrounding athletic fields have already become tobacco-free areas,” Mott said. “Members of our campus community who use tobacco products are encouraged to begin taking steps to break those addictions so they will be able to comfortably comply with the policy when it goes into effect. Those who find compliance to be difficult should reach out and ask for help — either through the Health Services Center or the Division of Student Affairs.”

The Health Services staff will be on hand to assist anyone interested in making the decision to quit their use of tobacco products.

“Research tells us over 70% of tobacco users want to quit,” says SUNY Canton Health Services Nurse Julie A. Cruickshank. “We will provide all possible assistance as we move through the next three semesters and beyond. The development of effective support networks is critical in maximizing the potential of this policy. The great thing about this is everyone on campus will benefit greatly from its implementation.”

According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), there are smoke-free colleges and universities in virtually every state. Arkansas and Iowa have instituted statewide bans at all their public colleges and universities. Other examples include the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Michigan, the University of Florida, Oklahoma State University, Purdue University and the University of North Dakota. Well over 300 colleges and universities across the country have adopted tobacco-free policies.

Additionally, the American College Health Association (ACHA) issued a September 2009 “no tobacco policy” position statement encouraging colleges and universities nationwide “to be diligent in their efforts to achieve a 100 percent indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.”

More information about SUNY Canton’s policy will be available in the coming months and will include background on issues related to tobacco use, links to useful resources and a Frequently Asked Questions section. The information will be found on the College’s website, www.canton.edu.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.

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5 Responses to “SUNY Canton Going Tobacco-Free in 2013”

  1. Claude Says:

    The question I have is this. A lot of places go tobacco free, I have no problem with that, but is this complete tobacco free or only smoking. Another issue I find is a big problem is chew, it’s worse than smoking and totally disgusting. Chew is bad for gum disease and bad teeth, and it’s horrible when you see a cup on a table or bottle with chew spit in it, or worse when you step in the stuff when walking around, and this goes on all over, public places, work places, campus’. So when the term tobacco free applies… Is this all tobacco product??

  2. Class of 2011 Says:

    Id much rather see a spitter than walk into a doorway where there are 5 or 6 people smoking and you have to walk right through them. Chewing only harms the person chewing where as smoking harms the people around them. But to each their own

  3. Auto Tech Says:

    It’s funny how Non-smokers BLAME the smokers. DONT FORGET, we are not the ones PRODUCING this ADDICTIVE product, we are the people who got tricked into an addiction. If our country is making all these new non-smoking laws and stuff then why not go to the root of the problem, the tobacco companies!!!!!!! The only way smoking will disappear for good is if the big companies are shut down, not if Joe Schmo doesn’t smoke on campus.

  4. Mark Says:

    Although I am not a smoker, I do not support the campus wide tobacco ban. The college already has a very restrictive tobacco policy in place, which with minor changes such as restricting smoking to the gazebos or open areas as was supposed be the case, there would be no affect on non smokers. The BOCES campii addopted a no smoking policy a while back, and the result was not people quitting, but driving in droves to parking lots nearby. This of course creates exhaust which does harm to the air in addition to their smoking. While some may be compelled to quit smoking over the next 3 semesters, the majority will not. Smoking is a personal choice, and it is not the college’s responsibility or right to force people to make such a decision.

  5. Michael Says:

    Although i am not a smoker i think this is a bad decition there are already so many laws and restrictions especialy on campus why take one more thing from are students. Smoking is a personal choice that people have to make and if that is what they want to do than that is their own risk that they take. Now you are making the people who do smoke go way out of their way between classes to have a smoke and cause them more money than it already does just to go to school to begin with. Just one more thing that the campus wants to take away from the students they should appreciate their own rights for once as a human being. But then again they say this is a free counrty yeah right. But i guess he has made his disciton on it so i garentee you will see a lot of the smokers transfering to different schools that cost the same amount anyway and they allow you to smoke anywhere on campus like suny potsdam for instance. This is coming from a non smoker and thats my opinon on it. Dont say its a free counrty when its not.