FAQ About Tobacco-Restricted Campus Policy

When did this policy go into effect and why was it implemented?

SUNY Plattsburgh became a tobacco-restricted campus Aug. 15, 2015, in an effort to create a safe and healthy working, living and educational environment for the campus community and its visitors. This replaces the June 5, 2007 campus smoking policy.

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Who is affected by this policy?

This policy applies to all members of the college community including faculty, staff, students, volunteers, trainees, consultants, contracted staff, vendors, guests and visitors.

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What specific tobacco products are included in this policy?

Tobacco is defined as all tobacco and tobacco-derived products intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah-smoked products, clove cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes or “vapes” (vapor), smokeless tobacco (“chew”) and snus. This definition does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

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Where is tobacco use permitted?

Tobacco use is prohibited in all SUNY Plattsburgh buildings, vehicles and grounds except for a limited number of designated parking lots:

  • The main parking lot in front of the Field House and the parking lot to the west of the Field House prior to driving to Chip Cummings Field
  • Lots 2, 7, 11, 26 and 28 — signed for faculty and staff parking
  • Lots 4A, 8, 12, 21 and 27 — signed for off-campus students parking
  • Lots 18 and 20 — signed for on-campus students parking

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Is there a map of the parking lots where tobacco use is permitted?

Tobacco-restriction signs will be erected in parking lots across campus. These lots are referenced as designated on the official SUNY Plattsburgh Campus map. You can also download the Tobacco Use Permitted Campus Areas Map (PDF file size 640kB). Note: this file requires Acrobat Reader, which is available as a free download.

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Can I smoke on sidewalks and streets surrounding campus?

We request that individuals refrain from tobacco use on the sidewalks adjoining SUNY Plattsburgh Campus grounds, although sidewalks along city streets are a public right-of-way and not part of the campus.

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What should I do if I see someone violating the policy?

Anyone who observes a violation of the policy is encouraged to courteously and without confrontation inform the individual of the college’s Tobacco-Restricted Policy in an effort to educate our community.

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Does the college offer education and cessation on tobacco products?

This policy does not imply that individuals must quit using tobacco products: however, they must restrict the use of tobacco to the designated locations. That said, the college recognizes that tobacco is an addictive substance, that ceasing the use of tobacco is difficult, and that persons wanting to cease the use of tobacco often need support. The college is committed to providing information about cessations services for all members of the campus community.

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Where can students go to get help with smoking cessation?

Students who wish to quit can contact the Student Health and Counseling Center for cessation techniques, support, and products to assist in the process.

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Where can faculty and staff go to get help with smoking cessation?

Faculty and staff members who wish to quit can contact the New York State Smokers’ Quit line at (866) 697-8487 or contact the Employee Assistance Program at (518) 564-4177.

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How can individuals help support this policy?

The success of this policy relies on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of all campus community members and visitors. We can all play a role in promoting a healthy campus environment and encouraging adherence with this policy.

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What is the transition timeline for this policy?

Recognizing that success will depend upon adequate preparation and on-going education, there is a one-year transition time for full implementation. Promotion of this policy and education and outreach efforts will begin during the fall 2015 semester.

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What happens if someone is found not complying with this policy?

For the first year, policy noncompliance will prompt an educational response, which will include information regarding the existence of the policy, the rationale for the policy, and the availability of tobacco-cessation support services both on and off campus. Employees and students will be treated respectfully in the consistent observance of the policy.

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What will happen to those not complying once the policy is in full effect next year?

Starting Aug. 15, 2016, individuals who violate this policy on repeated occasions will be referred to the appropriate department for review and resolution (for employees – in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement): Employees – Human Resource Services (564-5062); Students – Office of Student Conduct (564-3282); and Visitors/General Public – University Police (564-2022).

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Are there any exceptions to this policy?

The policy allows for exceptions for certain scientific studies, spiritual or cultural ceremonies, and theatrical productions. Guidelines for these exceptions are detailed in the full policy document.

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Isn’t tobacco use a personal right?

There is no “right” to use tobacco products under state or federal law. The State University of New York owns the college property and can establish policies that protect the health of all campus community members and visitors. The new policy supports the right of all people to breathe smoke-free air and to be free of the waste products and potential hazards of smoking and other tobacco use, while allowing adults who use tobacco to continue to do so off campus. This decision supports the rights of both smokers and non-smokers alike.

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How often will this policy be reviewed?

The vice president for student affairs and his or her designees will review this policy on a regular basis to ensure that it is sustained, effective and up-to-date, and that SUNY Plattsburgh is in compliance with federal and state laws, as well as SUNY policies.

How will members of the campus community and visitors be informed of this policy?

Educating the campus community and our visitors will be an ongoing process and will encompass a variety of strategies including the following:

  • Email to the campus community from the college president
  • Campus forums
  • Presentation to the Student Association
  • Health Educator and Health Peer Educator outreach
  • Student Health and Counseling Center screenings and education
  • Press releases to campus and community news outlets
  • College website
  • Admissions and New Student Orientation materials and/or presentations
  • Announcements at campus events
  • Posters
  • Signs around campus
  • New employee information
  • RFP documents

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If I have other questions, whom can I contact?

For more information on the tobacco restriction policy, please contact the Vice President for Student Affairs Office at (518) 564-2280.

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Where can I see the full policy?

You can find the complete policy here.

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Contact Information

Student Affairs
SUNY Plattsburgh
Kehoe Building, 6th Floor
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681

Phone: (518) 564-2280
Fax: (518) 564-3284
Email: student.affairs@plattsburgh.edu