SUNY resolution calls for smoking ban
Resolution calls for tobacco smoking ban on all campus property
Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 15:06
A smoking ban on all 64 SUNY campuses moved a step further last Tuesday with the passage of a resolution by the SUNY Board of Trustees to push for legislation which would prohibit tobacco use on all SUNY property.
The resolution does not represent an immediate ban. A bill supporting a tobacco-free policy will need to be introduced to and passed by the New York state legislature before any ban can take effect, SUNY Director of Communication David Doyle said.
Doyle said there was no solid timeframe for when such legislation would be introduced, but that the resolution called for the policy to be put in place by January 1, 2014.
If passed, the bill would ban smoking tobacco on any SUNY campus property, Doyle said. This includes any vehicles owned, rented or controlled by SUNY. Under current SUNY Plattsburgh policy, smoking is banned in all indoor areas, dormitories and campus vehicles as well as within 25 feet of any campus buildings.
Dr. Kathleen Camelo, director of the Center for Student Health and Psychological Services, said she was unsurprised by the passage of the resolution given that other SUNY universities have already established similar anti-smoking policies.
Camelo said a survey was being prepared to gauge the SUNY Plattsburgh campus community’s feelings toward smoking behaviors. The survey, which Camelo said would likely be given next semester, would not only judge campus opinions on a potential tobacco ban, but would also work to profile the campus attitude toward smoking in general.
“It actually gives us a snapshot of how the campus feels about banning smoking and maybe what some of the issues around that will be,” Camelo said.
While Camelo said she hopes a ban would work to reduce exposure by the campus community to second-hand smoke, she also believes a ban could provide motivation not only for smokers to reconsider their habit but for campus officials to provide the resources and education needed to help with that process.
“We would hope to be promoting how to stop, not just saying we’re going to ban this, but we’d also be promoting ways and resources to help students, faculty and staff to stop smoking,” Camelo said.