SUNY Adirondack to go tobacco-free by the start of Fall 2014 classes

(QUEENSBURY, NY – February 6, 2014) – SUNY Adirondack will launch a series of programs and events this spring to meet a State University of New York initiative to transform all of its campuses into tobacco-free institutions.

The first of the events – tobacco cessation sessions on Wednesday, February 19, and Thursday, February 20 – will be open to all students, faculty and staff members of the college, as well as members of the SUNY Adirondack community.

“We are supporting this initiative out of respect for the health of others and our campus environment,” said SUNY Adirondack president Dr. Kristine D. Duffy. “The use of tobacco products has consistently been proven to be a severe health risk, and as educators we will focus on supporting those who wish to quit.

“It is our hope that voluntary compliance will be the overwhelming response to implementation and we believe this policy will create a clean, healthy, and safe environment for our students and visitors,” she said.

At its December 19, 2013 meeting, the college’s Board of Trustees reaffirmed its June 27, 2013 resolution to have the campus become tobacco free by the start of classes in the Fall of 2014. The trustees followed the lead of SUNY Chancellor Dr. Nancy Zimpher, who proposed that SUNY become the largest higher education system to become entirely tobacco free.

The resolution set down a plan of action including offering educational and support programs and events to assist members of the college community quit their dependence on tobacco products.

The college’s Wellness Committee, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Activities, the SUNY Adirondack Student Senate, the SUNY Adirondack Fitness Center and the SUNY Adirondack Counseling Office and will be active in organizing and promoting events for the effort this semester.

The February 19 and February 20 events are designed as two 90-minute programs. The February 19 session will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Miller Auditorium, Dearlove Hall. The February 20 session will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Miller Auditorium, Dearlove Hall.

Each session will be introduced by President Duffy. A speaker from New York Quits, a tobacco control program under the auspices of the NYS Department of Health, will offer remarks on tobacco use and how to quit. A panel discussion will follow featuring former and current smokers from the campus community discussing their relationship with tobacco, and education literature will be available. A menu of services will also be available for those ready to quit.

In addition to the smoking cessation sessions, other programs will include engaging the services of a hypnotist and acupuncturist; use of the college’s fitness center in the new student housing facility to get tobacco users moving; encouraging tobacco users to follow nutritional programs with suggested healthy food choices available through the college’s Food Service operation; the use of a coffee support group; and additional events to encourage tobacco users to quit.

For more information, please call the Office of Student Affairs at 518-743-2251.

For more information on kicking the tobacco habit, call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit the NY Quits web site at www.nysmokefree.com.

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