College’s Tobacco-Free Efforts Earn Top Marks

College’s Tobacco-Free Efforts Earn Top Marks

10/20/2015 

When SUNY Cortland adopted a campus-wide, tobacco-free policy in 2013, the College was building on its reputation as one of the most health conscious public institutions in New York state. That reputation was endorsed recently when SUNY Cortland was recognized on the Tobacco-Free U: 2015 New York State Dean’s List as one of only 13 higher education institutions to receive an A-plus rating from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The grades, which scored 201 colleges and universities across the state, were awarded based on surveys that reported how effectively tobacco- or smoke-free policies held up at different institutions. The highest scoring schools demonstrated a commitment to compliance beyond simply instituting policies on paper, according to the report.

The College was one of two SUNY institutions to receive an A-plus score, along with SUNY Fredonia.

“The last question on our institutional survey showed that nearly 16 percent of students have either quit or reduced their use of tobacco, or found it easier to not use tobacco because of the policy,” said Dr. Devin Coppola, the medical director of Student Health Services and the co-chair of SUNY Cortland’s Tobacco Advisory Committee. “To me this is huge, and shows the power of change that the policy is making.” 

When the College announced in 2011 its intention to become a completely tobacco-free campus on Jan. 1, 2013, it was just the second SUNY institution to do so, after Buffalo State College. Since that time, SUNY has adopted a system-wide tobacco-free policy, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

The Tobacco-Free U report specifically credited New York state’s public colleges for their smoking and tobacco efforts. Of the 84 public institutions surveyed, 54 of them — or 64 percent — either had a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy in place or were working on one.

SUNY Cortland’s decision to take a comprehensive approach at tobacco use on campus was based on overwhelming scientific evidence assembled by the U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, and World Health Organization, which demonstrates that tobacco is a profound agent of deadly diseases and responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year, both to tobacco users and non-users.

In a 2014 survey conducted by the College, 65 percent of the 369 respondents agreed that they observed a decrease in tobacco use on campus, while 68 percent noted an observable decrease in tobacco litter. SUNY Cortland continues to offer support for campus community members who wish to kick their smoking or tobacco use habits through the annual Great American Smoke-out and other avenues. 

“In my opinion, there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of tobacco use and smoking on campus,” Coppola said. “I used to see smokers several times every day on campus, and now that is a truly unusual case.”

Prepared by public relations intern Brandon Romagnoli


More News

President Commits to Community in State of the College Address

President Commits to Community in State of the College Address

Remarks focus on SUNY Cortland's student diversity and faculty engagement.


Exhibition to Focus on Images in Motion

Exhibition to Focus on Images in Motion

The multimedia display includes installations, objects, video and projection.


SUNY Cortland's Ability to Handle Winter Storms Earns National Certification

SUNY Cortland's Ability to Handle Winter Storms Earns National Certification

National Weather Service certification means the College is prepared for hazardous conditions.


College, City to Benefit from Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections

College, City to Benefit from Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections

$2 million REDC award will fund new construction in the City of Cortland.


Campus Cheers Area Children with Gifts

Campus Cheers Area Children with Gifts

Red Dragons collected toys and raised funds to brighten the holidays for local families.


Raquette Lake Provides Fashion Photo Setting

Raquette Lake Provides Fashion Photo Setting

Vera Bradley models carried handbags as physical education majors looked on.


Freya’s Journey: From an Ethiopian Orphanage to SUNY Cortland’s Dean’s List

Freya’s Journey: From an Ethiopian Orphanage to SUNY Cortland’s Dean’s List

Senior human service studies major has overcome many obstacles.


Cortland Among Nation's Top 10 "Best Small Cities for New Grads"

Cortland Among Nation's Top 10

The city was lauded for its affordable rents, job opportunities and entertainment options.


UPD Chin Hairs Raise Money for Cancer Awareness

UPD Chin Hairs Raise Money for Cancer Awareness

Officers raised $1,800 during No-Shave November campaign.


Caterer Crafts Old Main as Gingerbread House

Caterer Crafts Old Main as Gingerbread House

A festive three-by-five foot replica of Old Main is on display in Corey Union.


Explore

Visit

Contact