SUNY Cortland Tobacco-Free Policy


As a leader in health and wellness, State University of New York College at Cortland (SUNY Cortland) understands that health is as important as education. SUNY Cortland is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy, comfortable and productive living and learning environment for the entire campus community. Among the SUNY Cortland campus priorities are to become a national leader in the promotion of the physical, emotional, cultural and social well-being of all community members and to provide outstanding opportunities and support for healthy living.

SUNY Cortland recognizes the overwhelming scientific evidence assembled by the U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization, which demonstrates that tobacco is a profound agent of deadly diseases and is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year, both to tobacco users and non-users. Recognizing the hazards of smoking, in 1989 SUNY Cortland restricted smoking to certain designated areas on campus. Since then, additional studies have indicated that exposure to second-hand smoke is a significant risk for everyone. All forms of tobacco are now known to be harmful and highly addictive. SUNY Cortland cares deeply about the health of all its members and as an employer and an institution of higher education, the College is committed to providing a safe working, living and educational environment. Tobacco use is inconsistent with the campus culture of wellness.

Some of the reasons for SUNY Cortland’s commitment to remaining tobacco-free include:

  • Supporting the SUNY Cortland campus priority of wellness
  • Preserving respect for others and the environment
  • Reducing the health hazards posed by exposure to second-hand smoke on campus
  • Preparing students for increasingly tobacco-free workplaces
  • Helping prevent desecration of the campus environment by tobacco litter
  • Eliminating smoking areas that can limit smoke-free access to campus and buildings
  • Lessening the likelihood that students attending SUNY Cortland will be targeted by any marketing, promotion or distribution of tobacco products on campus
  • Discouraging students from adopting or continuing to use of any form of tobacco while attending SUNY Cortland
  • Being a leader among SUNY colleges in public health policy and wellness promotion
  • Complementing campus sustainability efforts
  • Creating opportunities for institutional development
  • Decreasing tobacco use through social-norming
  • Recognizing that, as stated by the CDC, smokeless tobacco can lead to nicotine addiction and that adolescent users are more likely to become smokers
  • Addressing the usage of smokeless tobacco at SUNY Cortland


For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply:

“Tobacco” is defined as all tobacco and tobacco-derived products intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, hookah-smoked products, clove cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and snus. This definition does not include any product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco use cessation product.

“College” is defined as SUNY Cortland.

“SUNY Cortland property” is defined as any property owned, leased or operated by SUNY Cortland.

 “Tobacco company” is defined as a company that produces and/or markets branded tobacco products, including any subsidiaries, but not including parent companies which engage in business activities that are not in any way related to tobacco. 

“Direct tobacco company holdings” are defined as corporate stock holdings directly owned by the College, not including stock holdings that may be owned through mutual funds or other indirect investments.

Key Policy Components

Tobacco Free Grounds 

Tobacco use is prohibited everywhere within the perimeter on all SUNY Cortland property, both indoors and outdoors, as well as in College-owned vehicles and in any vehicle on SUNY Cortland property. 

Tobacco use is prohibited at all College-sponsored, off-campus events.

Advertising, Promotions and Sales

Tobacco sales are prohibited anywhere on the SUNY Cortland campus.

The College will not accept advertising, marketing, distribution or promotion of tobacco products.

Sponsorships, Gifts, Funding

All grants and gifts to SUNY Cortland and all solicitations and proposals for such funds must have the approval of the College and must conform to the College's Mission Statement, culture of wellness, SUNY policies and applicable laws and regulations. In addition SUNY Cortland will not invest in any direct tobacco company holdings.


Understanding the addictive nature of tobacco use and that breaking that addiction is extremely difficult for many people, the College will make every reasonable effort to assist those employees and students who wish to stop using tobacco. The campus will promote and provide evidence-based cessation resources. Students can access cessation treatment, including counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, at the Student Health Service. Employees can access support through the Employee Assistance Program.


This policy is driven by respect for others and the environment and relies on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of tobacco users and non-users for its success. Enforcement of this policy will depend on the cooperation of all members of the SUNY Cortland campus community, both to comply and encourage others to do so. It is the responsibility of all members in the College community to observe this tobacco policy.

SUNY Cortland will inform members of the campus community about the tobacco policy by widely disseminating information about the policy on a regular basis. The tobacco policy will be clearly posted in employee and student handbooks, on the campus website, and as part of other publications. 

The policy will be shared with parents, alumni and visitors through media, campus announcements, the website and other means. Key components of the policy will be posted on signage around campus such as "Tobacco use is not allowed on campus grounds." Public announcements will address the policy at events on campus.

Policy non-compliance will prompt an initial educational response which will include information regarding the existence of the policy, the rationale for the policy and the availability of tobacco cessation support services both on and off campus.

Repeated non-compliance will be referred to the appropriate campus student conduct or employee supervisory system for resolution. Employees and students will be treated respectfully in the consistent observance of the policy.

An unfortunate consequence of some attempts to address tobacco cessation has been the establishment of boundaries that have displaced tobacco users onto the surrounding community. To enhance SUNY Cortland’s commitment to a tobacco-free culture, the College will encourage and partner with surrounding merchants, municipalities, landlords, residents and tobacco control advocacy groups and other local stakeholders to enact community tobacco-free policies. 

Policy Review

SUNY Cortland will maintain a broad based Tobacco Advisory Committee to identify and address needs and concerns related to this policy, implementation, compliance, enforcement and cessation.

The Tobacco Advisory Committee will review this policy on a regular basis to ensure that it is sustained, effective and up to date. The provisions of this policy shall be subject to future review and revision to ensure that its objectives are attained and that SUNY Cortland is in compliance with federal and state law.

Policy Effective Date

Recognizing that success will depend upon adequate preparation, a transition time in excess of one year was allowed for SUNY Cortland to become a 100 percent tobacco-free campus Jan. 1, 2013.

Endorsed by President’s Cabinet
July 25, 2011

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