Tobacco-Free Policy

Tobacco-Free Policy

Why is SUNY Adirondack a tobacco-free College?

SUNY Adirondack followed the lead of SUNY System Administration, who proposed that SUNY become the largest higher education system to become entirely tobacco free.

The College supports this initiative out of respect for the health of others and our campus environment. The use of tobacco products has consistently been proven to be a severe health risk, and as educators, we focus on supporting those who wish to quit. This policy creates a clean, healthy and safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.

When did SUNY Adirondack become tobacco-free?

SUNY Adirondack became a tobacco-free community at the start of the Fall 2014 classes on September 3, 2014.

Are other colleges tobacco-free?

Across the United States, many Colleges and Universities have seen the value of initiating tobacco-free policies. As of January 2, 2014, at least 1,182 colleges and universities had enacted tobacco-free policies for their entire campuses (indoors and out); about another 80 had enacted policies that include minor exemptions for remote outdoor areas. Source:

Who does the tobacco-free policy apply to?

This policy applies to all members of the College community at all locations including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, trainees, consultants, supplemental staff employed through contract agencies or outside trade unions, vendors, guests and visitors.

What types of tobacco are included in this policy?

For the purpose of this policy, “tobacco” is defined to include any lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette and any other smoking product, and smokeless or spit tobacco, also known as dip, chew, snuff or snus, in any form.

Why is smokeless tobacco included in the ban?

A policy that includes all forms of tobacco has better health outcomes, is more equitable, and easier to enforce. There is no safe form of tobacco and our policy is based out of respect for the health of others and our campus environment. All forms of tobacco contain cancer causing agents that can lead to hypertension. Smokeless tobacco use often creates unwanted and sometimes hazardous waste and byproducts that endanger and litter our campus. Additionally the mess created by all forms of tobacco often creates more cleanup work for college facilities staff.

Are e-cigarettes included?

Yes, the policy prohibits all forms of tobacco and any nicotine delivery device that has not been approved by the FDA for cessation (the FDA has the authority to regulate e-cigarettes as a “tobacco product” under the Tobacco Control Act). National health agencies remain skeptical of the safety of these devices due to a lack of scientific data. Until FDA approval is granted, these will not be allowed on campus, which is consistent with national standards and guidelines.

Will there be designated areas for the use of tobacco on campus?

No. The use of tobacco will be prohibited on all college grounds, including the gazebo areas.

What about athletic games, concerts or other public events?

All events occurring on college property are covered by the tobacco-free policy. Visitors are welcome on campus, but are expected to adhere to this policy as well. Violation of our policy by visitors can result in a ban of their privilege to be on campus.

Does the policy apply to residence halls?

Yes, the policy applies to all areas of the college, including residence halls and guests of residents. If a student guest violates the policy that student can be held accountable for his/her guests actions.

Do faculty, staff, students and visitors have to quit using tobacco?

No. We are not saying you must quit using tobacco. But we are saying you cannot use tobacco while you are on college property. The college is committed to helping students who do want to quit. Please contact the Counseling Department at (518) 743-2278 for information on services and upcoming events planned to assist students and staff in this transition if you are interested in quitting.

Am I in violation of the policy if I possess tobacco products?

No, the policy governs use of legal tobacco products, not possession of tobacco products on college property or in the residence hall. Possessing tobacco products is OK, you just cannot consume them on campus.

How will this policy be enforced?

The Department of Public Safety is charged with the enforcement of this policy. Violations by students are treated as violations of the Code of Conduct and adjudicated by the Dean for Student Affairs. Violations by employees are treated as a violation of College Policy and are handled by the Director of Human Resources.

Isn't this a violation of my civil rights?

No. There is no state or federal law that provides a "right" to use tobacco. The college has the authority to govern and regulate the use of its facilities and properties. Establishing a tobacco-free college preserves everyone's right to breathe smoke-free air in a cleaner environment, while allowing adults who choose to use tobacco to continue to do so off-campus. The College is supporting this initiative out of respect for the health of others and our campus environment. Tobacco use is a legal product for people over the age of 18. However, the college owns campus property and can establish policies that protect the health of all college members. A tobacco-free policy does not prohibit tobacco use; the policy merely establishes where use can occur.

If I don’t want to quit where can I go to use tobacco products?

Use of tobacco on campus grounds is a violation of the tobacco-free policy. In order to use tobacco products, you will need to leave campus. We highly encourage all students leaving campus for any reason to be safe and take appropriate precautions.

What if I am a resident and don’t have a car to leave campus and use tobacco products?

Students are not required to live on campus at SUNY Adirondack. We will make every effort to inform students of our tobacco free policy, as well as provide resources for those who wish to quit using tobacco. It may be challenging for those who want to reside on campus, but do not have a car or other means to get off campus if they wish to use tobacco. We highly encourage you consider this factor when deciding to live on campus.

Will the gazebos still be there?

The gazebos are no longer designated areas for tobacco use.

How can I quit (or help someone I know who wants to quit)?

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 Additionally, feel free to contact the Counseling Department at (518) 743-2278 for information on services and upcoming events planned to assist students and staff in this transition if you are interested in quitting.

What should I do if I see someone using tobacco on campus?

Effective implementation of this policy depends on the courtesy, respect and cooperation of all members of the SUNY Adirondack community. If you witness someone using tobacco we encourage you to politely say, “Did you know we are now a tobacco-free campus and you cannot use tobacco products on SUNY Adirondack grounds?” It is important to give people gentle reminders. We all have the right to be and live in a healthy, tobacco-free environment, but we also need to be sensitive to those who do not wish to quit using tobacco products. If you do not feel comfortable approaching someone violating the policy please contact the public safety office at (518) 796-1344.

How should I respond if someone gets angry or aggressive?

If someone becomes angry or aggressive please do not continue discussing the situation. Simply walk away and contact public safety.

Who should I talk to about questions or concerns that I have about the tobacco-free policy?

Your opinion and feedback are important to us and we want to help you understand the policy and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact the human resources office at (518) 743-2257 or the Dean for Student Affairs office at (518) 743-2277.