SUNY Oswego introduces smoke-free policy

Oswego will be tobacco free in 2015. (Tom Urtz Jr.)
Oswego will be tobacco free in 2015.
(Tom Urtz Jr.)

[su_youtube url=”” width=”240″ height=”240″] [/su_youtube]

Tobacco usage on college campuses has always been a source of debate and starting next year, SUNY Oswego will officially be “smoke-free.”

According to an email sent out on Tuesday by President Deborah F. Stanley, the new tobacco-free policy will be enforced after January 1, 2015 to give a clean and healthy environment.

“No degree of secosmokingndhand smoke is safe, no amount of smoking-related pollution is acceptable, and any form of tobacco use is damaging to health and is highly addictive.” said President Stanley in the email.

This new policy limits the use of tobacco products on college premises, including vehicles. SUNY Oswego joins more than 810 colleges nationwide in the process of becoming smoke-free campuses.


The Clean Air Committee, a group on campus that promotes healthy living and global responsibility, have met and discussed the smoking policy on campus since 2011. The Committee made the announcement of the new tobacco-free policy on Tuesday for one reason: it was Earth Day.

“A tobacco-free college community is the right thing to do — for all of us. It is consistent with our commitment to the health and wellness of all our citizens, our learner-centered culture and our global responsibility. Let’s begin celebrating a healthier SUNY Oswego today and be completely tobacco free by 2015,” said President Stanley.

In order to spread the word about the upcoming policy, each residence hall received pamphlets, giant posters, balloons and business cards about the policy to post in their lobbies and throughout the halls.tobacco free poster

The Clean Air Committee will not issue any punishment to students caught smoking on campus, said Jerald Woolfolk, the Chair of the Clean Air Committee.

“We’re not going to be, you know, out looking for people smoking or anything like that, or giving them tickets. We hope that it’s self-regulated.” said Woolfolk.

Although the purpose of this policy is to create a smoke-free environment for the college, SUNY Oswego freshman, Katie Moriarty, is reluctant to believe that others will stop using tobacco products on campus.

“I think people are going to smoke no matter what. Whether the ban is there or not, so I don’t really think it’s going to be effective,” said Moriarty.

Emma Johnson, a sophomore at SUNY Oswego, also believes that the ban on tobacco use will not stop students from smoking.

“If people are really getting caught on campus and they’re being told to get rid of their cigarettes, or whatever, they’re just going to find places where they’re less likely to get caught. I don’t think it’s going to decrease smoking at all,” said Johnson.

In time leading up to January 1, when the ban on smoking will take effect, SUNY Oswego will offer opportunities for tobacco users to kick the habit through the Mary Walker Health Center and the Lifestyles Center.

For more information on the smoke-free policy, resources and links to help tobacco-users cut down or quit smoking, students can visit Oz Quits.