Tobacco Use Policy

Summary: 

On June 12, 2012, The State University of New York Board of Trustees passed a resolution to support a “Tobacco-Free SUNY” policy and the development of New York State legislation that bans the use of tobacco on grounds and facilities and in vehicles owned, leased, or controlled by SUNY.

Policy document: 

Body: 

Summary

SUNY Old Westbury is committed to providing a safe, healthy, comfortable and tobacco use environment for its students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Preamble

The New York State Clean Indoor Act of July 24, 2003 amended Public Health Law Article 13-E (Regulation of Smoking in Certain Public Areas) and encourages every employer in the State to provide smoke-free work areas for all employees in the workplace.

On June 12, 2012, The State University of New York Board of Trustees passed a resolution to support a “Tobacco-Free SUNY” policy and the development of New York State legislation that bans the use of tobacco on grounds and facilities and in vehicles owned, leased, or controlled by SUNY. The Chancellor has asked that campuses persist in designing and implementing strategies to drive their campuses toward the tobacco-free goal, with the understanding that to achieve, this, a campus culture change is necessary. Further, no campus can effectively achieve a tobacco-free campus without addressing both social and collective bargaining issues and that time, collaboration and full dialogue are critical to the processes.

Policy Statement

SUNY Old Westbury supports an environment where its students, employees, and visitors do not smoke or use tobacco products, and are not exposed to those who do. Therefore, SUNY Old Westbury strongly encourages that students, faculty, staff and visitors refrain from smoking and the use of other tobacco products while on all University-managed property, both indoors and outdoors. This includes any vehicle owned or leased by the University. 

Rationale

As a leader in health and wellness, State University of New York College at Old Westbury (“SUNY Old Westbury”) understands that health is as important as education. SUNY Old Westbury is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy, comfortable, and productive living and learning environment for the entire campus community. Among the SUNY Old Westbury campus priorities are to become a national leader in the promotion of the physical, emotional, cultural and social well-being of all community members and to provide outstanding opportunities and support for healthy living. 

SUNY Old Westbury recognizes the overwhelming scientific evidence assembled by the U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency, and World Health Organization, which demonstrates that tobacco is a profound agent of deadly diseases, responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year, both to tobacco users and non-users. Recognizing the hazards of smoking, additional studies have indicated that exposure to second-hand smoke is a significant risk for everyone. All forms of tobacco are now known to be harmful and highly addictive. SUNY Old Westbury cares deeply about the health of all its members and as an employer and an institution of higher education, the College is committed to providing a safe working, living and educational environment. Tobacco use is inconsistent with the Campus culture of wellness. 

Some of the reasons for SUNY Old Westbury’s commitment to becoming tobacco-free include to: 

  • Support the SUNY Old Westbury campus priority of wellness 
  • Preserve respect for others and the environment 
  • Reduce the health hazards posed by exposure to second-hand smoke on campus 
  • Prepare students for increasingly tobacco-free workplaces 
  • Help prevent desecration of the campus environment by tobacco litter 
  • Eliminate designated smoking areas that can limit smoke-free access for people with disabilities 
  • Lessen the likelihood that students attending SUNY Old Westbury will be targeted by any marketing, promotion, or distribution of tobacco products on campus 
  • Discourage students from adopting or continuing to use any form of tobacco while attending SUNY Old Westbury 
  • Curtail the known difficulties posed by policies with designated smoking areas 
  • Be a leader among SUNY colleges in public health policy and wellness promotion 
  • Complement campus sustainability efforts 
  • Create opportunities for institutional development 
  • Decrease tobacco use through social-norming 
  • Recognize that, as stated by the CDC, smokeless tobacco can lead to nicotine addiction and that adolescent users are more likely to become smokers 
  • Address the high usage of smokeless tobacco at SUNY Old Westbury

Definitions

For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply: “Tobacco” is defined as all tobacco and tobacco-derived products intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, hookah-smoked products, clove cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and snus. This definition does not include any product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco use cessation product. 

“College” is defined as SUNY Old Westbury.

“SUNY Old Westbury property” is defined as any property owned, leased or operated by SUNY Old Westbury. 

“Tobacco Company” is defined as a company that produces and/or markets branded tobacco products, including any subsidiaries, but not including parent companies which engage in business activities that are not in any way related to tobacco. 

“Direct tobacco company holdings” are defined as corporate stock holdings directly owned by the College, not including stock holdings that may be owned through mutual funds or other indirect investments. 

Key Policy Components

Tobacco Free Grounds

Tobacco use is prohibited except in designated areas on the perimeter on all SUNY Old Westbury property, both indoors and outdoors, as well as in College-owned vehicles and in any vehicle on SUNY Old Westbury property. Tobacco use is prohibited at all College-sponsored, off-campus events.

Advertising, Promotions, & Sales

Tobacco sales are prohibited anywhere on the SUNY Old Westbury campus. The College will not accept advertising, marketing, distribution, or promotion of tobacco products. 

Sponsorships, Gifts, Funding

All grants and gifts to SUNY Old Westbury and all solicitations and proposals for such funds must have the approval of the College and must conform to the College's Mission Statement, culture of wellness, SUNY policies and applicable laws and regulations. In addition SUNY Old Westbury will not invest in any direct tobacco company holdings. 

Cessation

Understanding the addictive nature of tobacco use and that breaking that addiction is extremely difficult for many people, the College will make every reasonable effort to assist those employees and students who wish to stop using tobacco. The campus will promote and provide evidence-based cessation resources. Students can access cessation treatment, including counseling at the Student Health Service. Employees can access support through the Employee Assistance Program. 

Compliance

This policy is driven by respect for others and the environment and relies on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of tobacco users and non-users for its success. Enforcement of this policy will depend on the cooperation of all members of the SUNY Old Westbury campus community, both to comply and encourage others to do so. It is the responsibility of all members in the College community to observe this tobacco policy. 

SUNY Old Westbury will inform members of the campus community about the tobacco policy by widely disseminating information about the policy on a regular basis. The tobacco policy will be clearly posted in employee and student handbooks, on the campus website, and as part of other publications. 

The policy will be shared with parents, alumni and visitors through media, campus announcements, the website and other means. Key components of the policy will be posted on signage around campus. Public announcements will address the policy at events on campus. 

Policy non-compliance will prompt an initial educational response which will include information regarding the existence of the policy, the rationale for the policy, and the availability of tobacco cessation support services both on and off campus. Repeated non-compliance will be referred to the appropriate campus student conduct or employee supervisory system for resolution. Employees and students will be treated respectfully in the consistent observance of the policy.

Policy Review 

SUNY Old Westbury will maintain a broad based Tobacco Advisory Committee to identify and address needs and concerns related to this policy, implementation, compliance, enforcement, and cessation. 

The Tobacco Advisory Committee will review this policy on a regular basis to ensure that it is sustained, effective, and up to date. The provisions of this policy shall be subject to future review and revision to ensure that its objectives are attained and that SUNY Old Westbury is in compliance with federal and state law. 

Policy Effective Date January 24, 2016.