Union to become smoke free

Publication Date

Union College will become a tobacco/smoke-free environment effective July 1, 2016. The initiative, which is supported by senior staff and the Board of Trustees, bans tobacco use and implements smoke-free policies for buildings and/or on property owned or leased by the College.

Currently, all buildings and campus vehicles are non-smoking areas but under the new initiative, the entire campus will be designated tobacco/smoke-free. Areas on campus currently officially or unofficially designated as smoking locations will no longer serve as such. Ashtrays will be removed and signage installed reflecting that any and all facilities owned and operated by Union are tobacco/smoke-free environments.

Organizers and attendees at events held in Union facilities - conferences, meetings, public lectures, social and sporting activities - will be required to abide by and enforce the College’s Tobacco Free Policy.

Over the next few months, the Task Force for a Tobacco/Smoke-Free Union, a combined student, faculty and staff group, will lead the College’s efforts as it transitions to a tobacco/smoke-free campus. A number of cessation and education programs are already available to help members of the Union community quit the habit.

For CDPHP members, Union offers programs such as “Get Ready to Quit Smoking” and “The Butt Stops Here.” Members can also talk to a CDPHP health coach about quitting smoking by calling (800) 365-4180 or logging in to the secure member portal at www.cdphp.com.

The American Cancer Society will offer materials and support resources at this year’s employee benefits fair, scheduled for November 12.

Students can access smoking cessation resources through the Wicker Wellness Center. Tables will be setup at the Student Wellness Fair to be held on September 18 in front of Reamer. A range of smoking cessation and tobacco-free support materials will be available.

The center also provides access to aids such as patches, gum, inhalers, Bupropion and Chantix. Pills and inhalers are billed to insurance. Wicker facilitates the bulk purchase of patches and gum. Students can get individual and group smoking cessation counseling through the Counseling Center.

For all members of the campus community, other resources include the New York State Smokers’ Quitline, which provides information and support for smoking cessation. For information, call 1-866-NY-QUITS (866) 697-8487 or visit their website at www.nysmokefree.com to access resources.

The Tobacco Quitline offers information and counseling both in NYS and nationally. Call 1-800-QUITNOW (800) 784-8669 or go to www.smokefree.gov.

Over the course of the year, the College will provide additional access to cessation aids, including cessation classes and programming. For information on health and safety related to smoking, as well as cessation programs, visit Union’s tobacco/smoke-free website.