“Our goal is to eliminate the potential for exposure to secondhand smoke on campus,” said CCNY President Lisa S. Coico in announcing the policy. “In addition, we want to cultivate a healthy working and learning environment for students, employees and visitors. This includes helping members of the City College community break the habit.”
Smoking-related deaths from cancer, heart and lung diseases and other conditions account for more than 440,000 premature deaths each year; about one in five deaths in the United States. The U.S. surgeon general has determined that exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous to health and that reducing exposure will save lives and lower health expenditures. Further, research has shown that any exposure to secondhand smoke – even outdoors – has harmful biological consequences.
In going tobacco-free, CCNY joins with the other colleges of the City University of New York to become part of the largest smoke-free public university system in the United States. The CUNY Board of Trustees in January 2011 adopted an expanded tobacco policy that bans use of tobacco products and tobacco promotion and marketing on its campuses as well as tobacco industry sponsorship of athletic events and athletes.
“I commend CUNY Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Matthew Goldstein for their leadership on this issue,” President Coico said. “These new policies will not only protect the health of our students, faculty and staff but enable us to provide a cleaner and healthier environment for visitors, as well.”
To support efforts by City College employees and students to quit smoking, the College will provide access to tobacco cessation resources through its Wellness and Counseling Center, located in Room 15 of the Marshak Science Center and the Office of Human Resources, located in Room 50 of Shepard Hall.
Representatives from Harlem Hospital are available to provide free nicotine replacement therapy between 12 noon and 2 p.m. in the North Academic Center rotunda on the following Thursdays: March 8, March 15, March 22, March 29, April 19 and May 3.
Once the tobacco-free policy takes effect in September, City College will implement several steps to enforce it. Visitors, employees and students who violate the policy will be reminded of the policy and asked to extinguish lighted tobacco products. The Department of Public Safety may issue warnings to persons violating the policy. Students or employees who refuse to comply after multiple warnings could be subject to corrective action under applicable disciplinary policies.
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