1. Why did CUNY revise its tobacco policy?
CUNY has revised its tobacco policy to provide a healthy and safe environment for employees, students and visitors, and to promote positive health behaviors. As the nation’s largest urban public university, as a source of thousands of health-professions graduates, and as the home of the new CUNY School of Public Health, CUNY has an opportunity—and a responsibility—to set appropriate standards as an example for universities seeking to protect the health of their students and employees.
2. When does the tobacco-free policy go into effect?
The University expects the full implementation of the revised tobacco plan no later than September 4th 2012.
3. What does tobacco-free mean?
The policy prohibits the use of tobacco on all grounds and facilities under CUNY’s jurisdiction — indoor and outdoor– as well as tobacco industry promotions and marketing on campus properties, and tobacco industry sponsorship of athletic events and athletes. The Board’s resolution updates and supersedes the University’s previous policy, which prohibited smoking inside all facilities, including vehicles operated by the University.
4. What is considered a tobacco product and therefore prohibited by this policy?
Tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigarettes (traditional and e-cigarettes), chew, pipes, cigars, hookah or waterpipe smoking, snuff, and snus.
5. Who is affected by this policy?
The policy applies to every person who comes to a CUNY campus, including visitors, faculty, staff, volunteers, students, contractors, and service representatives.
6 .What areas of CUNY campuses are included in the policy?
All grounds and facilities under CUNY jurisdiction are included in this policy, including indoor locations and outdoor locations such as playing fields; entrances and exits to buildings; and parking lots. By September 4, 2012, clearly visible signs will be in place to indicate tobacco-free boundaries.
7. Does the policy apply to student housing?
Yes, the policy applies to all areas of campus, including student housing.
8. Can I use tobacco in my personal vehicle?
No. Tobacco use is prohibited in all CUNY operated parking areas, both inside and outside of vehicles.
9. Do employees, students, and visitors have to quit using tobacco?
No. We are not saying you must quit smoking. But we are saying you cannot use tobacco while you are on CUNY property. If you are ready to quit, we want to support your efforts
Please visit the Tobacco Cessation Resources tab for more information.
10. What type of training is being done to make employees and students aware of this policy?
Central Office, in conjunction with the CUNY School of Public Health will support a variety of training opportunities tailored to university students, faculty and staff. Such training opportunities include, but are not limited to cessation education and counseling, policy enforcement, and student advocacy. Training information and updates will be available at www.cuny.edu/healthycuny
11. Are other universities tobacco-free?
Across the United States, an ever-increasing number of colleges and universities are instituting tobacco-free policies: As of October 1, 2010, at least 446 colleges and universities had enacted smoke-free or tobacco-free policies for their entire campuses (indoors and out); about another 80 had enacted policies that include minor exemptions for remote outdoor areas. Other colleges and universities have not encountered significant problems enforcing tobacco-free policies.
12 . What should I say to someone I see violating the policy?
The following are suggesting scripted messages others are encouraged to say when they see someone violating the policy:
Example Script #1:
Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on CUNY property.
Response: “Hello, my name is _______, and I am an (employee, student) here at _______ College. I want to make you aware that we are now a Tobacco-Free campus … meaning that tobacco products are prohibited on our grounds. We would appreciate if you would not use tobacco products while visiting our campus. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Example Script #2:
Question: “Where am I allowed to smoke?”
Response: “Smoking and other tobacco products are not allowed anywhere on ______ College campus.
This is a new policy, put in place on September 4th, meant to promote better health in our students, faculty and staff. If you need to smoke or use tobacco products you will need to leave the campus. If you are interested in quitting smoking you can call the NY State Smokers’ Quitline (give card with information)
Example Script #3:
For Vendors and Visitors: “I’d like to let you know in advance that __________campus is going to be a Tobacco-Free environment as of September 4th, 2012. Use of tobacco products will not be permitted on any property, grounds, or parking areas. Thank you for respecting our policy.”
13. What is the college (CUNY) doing to help students, faculty and staff who want to quit using tobacco products?
Click on the Tobacco Cessation Resources tab for more information.
14. I am interested in tobacco treatment resources, but am not an employee or student of CUNY. What resources are available to me?
CUNY values the health and well-being of everyone who uses our facilities. If you use tobacco products and would like to quit, discuss with your physician or other health care provider which of the approaches may work best for you.
A variety of resources to help stop using tobacco, if you choose to do so, are available. Visit the Tobacco Treatment Resources tab for more information.
15. Why are e-cigarettes included in this policy?
Electronic cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. The FDA has found several safety concerns regarding the use of these products, and regulates e-cigarettes the same way it does regular cigarettes.
CUNY’s tobacco policy was revised to provide a healthy and safe environment for employees, students and visitors, and to promote positive health behaviors. Prohibiting electronic cigarettes is consistent with the aim of the policy.
16. Why are designated smoking areas not included in this policy?
There are two reasons why CUNY decided not to create designated smoking areas. First, designated smoking areas are not consistent with the policy. The aim of CUNY’s tobacco-free policy is to create a healthy environment to live, work, and learn. Creating smoking areas sends a message that tobacco use is acceptable; rather, the university promotes healthy lifestyles and provides assistance for students and employees who are ready to quit and for those who need to manage their addiction symptoms while on campus. Second, designated smoking areas create confusion and are a compliance challenge. Experience on other college campuses and best practice for tobacco policy pointed us in the direction of a comprehensive campus wide tobacco-free policy with no designated smoking areas. Rarely do people comply with designated smoking areas. Some campuses may choose to have designated smoking areas between now and September 2012, however all campuses will be completely tobacco-free when the new policy goes into effect on September 4th 2012.