By Judith B. Greiman
With the new year comes a new policy at Stony Brook University, and we hope it will inspire some resolutions for 2016 — all campus locations including Southampton and Manhattan are now 100 percent tobacco-free.
Stony Brook strives to maintain a respectful, safe, healthy and clean community. We’re following the lead of more than 1,000 colleges nationwide, including several SUNY schools that have already implemented tobacco-free policies. Our new policy is also consistent with the greater cultural shift toward smoke- and tobacco-free public places, such as restaurants, hotels, parks, airplanes and sporting venues.
The tobacco-free policy applies to all students, faculty and staff as well as visitors on campus, including vendors, volunteers and contractors, attendees at all our events (such as Seawolves football games and shows at the Staller Center for the Arts) and families and friends of students, faculty and staff.
Products that may not be used on campus include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, pipes, hookah-smoked products and oral and smokeless tobacco.
The University started researching and developing best practices for implementing a tobacco-free policy in 2013. Working groups and an advisory council involving a cross-representation of campus, including students, contributed to the new tobacco-free policy and initiative.
Our new initiative, An Air of Respect, addresses going tobacco-free with a supportive approach that recognizes not only the negative health and environmental effects of using tobacco products but also the real challenge tobacco users face when trying to quit.
Judith B. Greiman is Chief Deputy to the President and Vice President for Government and Community Relations at Stony Brook University.