Bulletin News

Student Video Offers Tobacco-Free Tips


Students returning to the SUNY Cortland campus who may wonder about their rights and responsibilities under the College’s new tobacco ban can reference a video created by their fellow students.

The video, posted on the recently launched Tobacco-Free section of SUNY Cortland’s website, demonstrates how to tell someone who is smoking or chewing tobacco on campus about the new rule.  

On Jan. 1, SUNY Cortland became one of the first SUNY campuses to ban all use of tobacco products: No cigarettes. No cigars. No chewing tobacco.

To help educate students about the change, the College’s Tobacco Advisory Committee asked a group of students to develop a video that offered practical advice about what students should do when they see someone using a tobacco product.

Public Relations intern Ryan Walker, a junior physical education major, partnered with 10 interns from the Health Promotion Department to create the video. The health promotion interns included Shannon Reardon, Dana Utz, Dean Damore, Fernando Osorio, Kaitlin Stordeur, Jaclyn Grimaldi, Noelle Taormina, Carolyn Bernardo, Maria Sullivan and Shelby Fisher.

College President Erik J. Bitterbaum played a cameo role in the video, suggesting that all members of the campus community help enforce the policy by educating tobacco users about the ban whenever they see someone smoking or chewing it.

“SUNY Cortland students are generally active, fitness-minded and aware of the serious health risks associated with tobacco use,” Bitterbaum said. “As an educational institution, we feel we have an obligation to educate everyone in our community about these threats and do what we can to encourage them to stop using tobacco.”

The new policy will mean less secondhand smoke, fewer unexpected pools of tobacco spit and a stronger claim to being one of the healthiest campuses in the nation.

SUNY Cortland, which considers student health and well-being one of its top institutional priorities, is a leader in the national trend toward tobacco- or smoke-free campuses. Starting in 2014, smoking will be banned on all 64 SUNY campuses.

SUNY Cortland’s Tobacco-Free site outlines the new policy, provides information on the dangers of tobacco, suggests ways to ask people to stop using it and offers resources for people who would like to quit.