Syracuse University Campus to Go Tobacco Free
In an effort to promote a healthy, productive and respectful environment in which to study, work and live, Syracuse University will revise its current anti-smoking policy and adopt a tobacco-free policy on campus effective July 1, 2015. The decision comes following nearly 10 years of discussion and analysis about the impact of smoking and tobacco use on campus and has the support of both the Student Association and the Graduate Student Organization.
According to the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative, as of Oct. 1, 2014, there were 1,478 smoke-free campuses in the United States, of which 976 are fully tobacco free. Syracuse University joins several SUNY campuses and dozens of other private colleges in New York State that have already adopted tobacco-free policies.
Starting July 1, 2015, smoking and the use of all tobacco products—including cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipes, chewing tobacco and products that imitate the act of smoking, such as vapor cigarettes—will be prohibited on all property owned, leased or managed by Syracuse University, including outdoor spaces and University-owned vehicles. The new policy will apply to all University students, staff and faculty, as well as to vendors and visitors. In addition, no promotional activities involving tobacco products will be associated with campus events or programs and sponsorship by tobacco companies is prohibited.
Products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation and the use of tobacco in authorized religious ceremonies will be allowed.
The tobacco-free policy will not immediately apply to some University-owned facilities, such as the Carrier Dome, Drumlins, the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center and Syracuse Stage. Visitors and event attendees in parking lots, and those on SU property in transit to and from events at the Carrier Dome, will also be exempt from the initial roll-out of the policy. Smoking and tobacco policies at International University locations are currently under review.
According to Tom Dennison, a professor at the Maxwell School and director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, the hazardous health effects and the economic burden of tobacco use are widely recognized. The decision to move to a tobacco-free campus makes a strong statement about the values held by Syracuse University that support a respectful setting in which to live and work.
Syracuse University has been exploring the move to a tobacco-free campus for a number of years, and has involved a variety of stakeholders in the process. A 2010 survey indicated that the majority of students, faculty and staff supported policies to limit tobacco use on campus. A University-wide committee has worked for more than a year on the new Tobacco-Free and Smoke-Free Campus policy draft that clearly defines the intent, scope and reasoning behind the policy.
Two information sessions will be held on campus in December:
Dec. 1 at 1 p.m., 500 Hall of Languages
Dec. 3 at noon, 304 Schine Student Center
Comments and questions about the proposed policy are welcome and can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit http://wellness.syr.edu/tobacco-free. The website includes frequently asked questions, resources for individuals looking to quit using tobacco, a schedule of upcoming free cessation programs and much more.