Tobacco Free Purchase
Welcome to the Purchase Tobacco Free page. As of April 19, 2017 the Main Plaza is designated Tobacco Free and smokers are asked to only use the designated smoking receptacles on campus. The entire Purchase campus will be Tobacco Free on June 2018.
The initiative to be Tobacco Free is a SUNY wide effort to provide as safe and a healthy environment for students, faculty and staff. SUNY continues to work towards 100% tobacco-free campus communities by June 2018. As of October 2016, over 1,400 institutions of higher education across the nation have implemented tobacco-free policies. Within SUNY there are over 70% of campuses who are in some phase of implementation.
We understand not all smokers will be in favor of these changes and we respect your opinion. Keep in mind that providing a smoke free environment is a movement that has been happening all over the country. In New York the big shift occurred in the early 2000s in NYC restaurants and offices and continues with New York State colleges.
So what happens if a student is smoking in a non-designated area? A great question…
- The first time a student is reported to Community Standards for smoking Tobacco, the student will receive an Official Notification letter asking the student to abide by the rules of conduct.
- The second time a student needs to be notified for an infraction of the Tobacco Free policy the student will be asked to report to Community Standards and may receive a Disciplinary Reprimand.
- If a student breaks the Tobacco Free policy a third time the student will again report to Community Standards and may receive up to a Residence Probation for one semester and a substance education class.
- Recommended Standard 4th Offense: Disciplinary Probation for one year and a substance assessment and compliance with terms of the assessment.
We are aware that many students support a smoke free environment on campus. We know this because they have told us and voiced their support. Despite the health risks, some students will continue to use tobacco, while others have already made the decision to not use tobacco. It is your decision. We are hoping the Tobacco Free Purchase campaign will give the student who are ‘on the fence’ a small push in a healthy direction and will help create a healthier campus environment. We also hope that over time a smoke free campus will be considered normal and accepted.
Smokers who want help to stop using tobacco can use a few resources on campus. Smokers can get nicotine patches from Student Health Services. The Wellness Center will be running free smoking cessation workshops in the Fall of 2017 and based on interest, the Wellness Center may even try to organize a smoking cessation weekly group in the Fall of 2017. Also the Resources section of the Wellness web area has links to external resources to help kick the habit.
We have heard students who expressed, why does SUNY care about what I do? To that fair point, we have determined four legitimate reasons (outside of health risks) to care about the cessation of a smoking habit or not to support Tobacco companies with your purchasing behavior.
Reason #1: Social Justice and Human Rights
- Social justice dynamics and environmental issues associated with the Tobacco industry are inconsistent with our culture:
- The Tobacco industry depends on poor labor practices and unethical means to thrive worldwide.
- Tobacco farms can use children as sprayers and pickers because of their small size.
- Child labor exists in U.S. yet family farms are exempt from Child Labor laws when parental permission is involved.
- Labor rights abuses of Tobacco companies. Tobacco farmers abroad often take loans they can never repay which can lead to an endless cycle of poverty.
Reason #2: Environmental Impacts of farming Tobacco
- Pesticides poison ground water supplies, deplete soil fertility, and impact health of tobacco farmers (many of whom use child labor).
- Insecticides/pesticides not permitted in U.S are exported to other countries will less stringent regulations like Mexico, Africa, etc.
- Pesticide runoff fills irrigation ditches from which workers and villagers derive water and wash.
- Tobacco is delicate! Guidelines call for as many as 16 applications of pesticides during the first 3 months of growing season.
- Deforestation - Half a million acres of forest are lost to tobacco farming each year
- The Tobacco industry ranks 18th among all industries in the production of chemical waste
Reason #3: Environmental Impacts of Cigarette Filters
- Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 69 BILLION pounds of butts wind up as toxic trash each year, creating an enormous environmental, health, and economic burden.
- Filters are made of cellulose acetate (a plastic that is not biodegradable)
- Filters are specifically designed to accumulate particulate smoke components which leach out.
- Filters are least likely (10%) to make it to a receptacle.
Reason #4: Tobacco Industry Uses Aggressive Marketing Practices
- To Young Adults
- The Tobacco industry needs to grow their market share and actively market to young adults through ad campaigns and Tobacco flavoring.
- The Tobacco blend in cigarettes was created in a laboratory and designed to be addictive to ensure a return customer.
- To LGBT and Minorities
- The Tobacco industry has closely studied minority groups to help grow the amount of consumers who use their products. The industry has prioritized groups that are large, growing in size and represent lucrative marketing opportunities: Blacks, Hispanics, working women, elderly, LGBT, young adults and other “urban subcultures.”