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For Immediate Release: July 30, 2012
Contact: Darren Johnson, (518) 381-1320/c. (518) 728-4474
SCCC Board of Trustees Support Tobacco-Free Initiative
SUNY Policy Aims to Take Effect by the End of 2013
The Schenectady County Community College Board of Trustees approved a resolution tonight that supports SUNY's efforts to create a tobacco-free university system by the end of 2013.
"We support the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher's efforts to make SUNY a tobacco-free institution," said Quintin Bullock, President of SCCC, "and Schenectady County Community College will do its part to work with SUNY on this imperative initiative. This is an important message to send that has a direct influence on the health of our entire campus community."
"The SCCC Board of Trustees stands behind and embraces Chancellor Zimpher's vision in making SUNY tobacco-free," said Denise Murphy McGraw, Chairwoman of the SCCC Board of Trustees. "Her leadership continues to put SUNY at the forefront of important conversations like this, and this effort is truly commendable and forward-thinking."
The State University of New York Board of Trustees had passed the "Tobacco-Free SUNY" policy in June, and it is now in the State Legislature. If passed, the ban would include the use of tobacco on grounds and facilities and in vehicles owned, leased or controlled by SUNY. SUNY would become the largest public university system in the country to adopt a comprehensive tobacco-free policy.
"Tobacco use on college campuses is a serious public health issue for which SUNY can be a larger part of the solution," said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall in June. "By establishing a policy that will prohibit the use of tobacco among our 468,000 students and 88,000 employees on campuses across New York, we will have a positive impact on their health and that of our visitors."
"SUNY has a responsibility to promote the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors while they are on our campuses," added Zimpher. "I look forward to working with legislative leaders to develop a state law that will make SUNY 100 percent tobacco-free by the end of next year."
The resolution is a result of the Chancellor's Task Force for a Tobacco-Free SUNY, which included broad representation of SUNY's students, faculty, staff, campus administration, along with other partners from the community, in an effort to lead a collaborative implementation process of a tobacco-free SUNY policy.
Under current law and a policy adopted by the State University Board on January 11, 2007, smoking is banned on SUNY campuses in indoor areas, including residence halls, and in vehicles owned or leased by the State University. Studies show that young people ages 18-24 have the highest smoking rate of all adults; and smoking contributes significantly to the risk of fires in buildings, dormitories, and other campus structures. SCCC student surveys show a strong level of support for this initiative.
One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation's largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York enrolls over 7,000 students. SCCC offers more than 40 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs. To learn more, visit www.sunysccc.edu.
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