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Skidmore, UAlbany go smoke free Jan. 1

Skidmore and UAlbany join a growing list of smoke-free campuses

Skidmore College and the University at Albany already have their New Year’s resolutions lined up: No smoking on campus.

Starting Jan. 1, both campuses will implement new smoke-free campus policies, prohibiting the use of tobacco and vaping devices on campus, including in outdoor areas.

Many other colleges have implemented similar policies in recent years, including Union College in 2016. A 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study counted more than 2,000 colleges and universities as having smoke-free campus policies – twice the number of colleges with those policies in 2012.

“The smoke-free and tobacco-free policy promotes a culture of wellness and provides the community with a healthy, respectful working and learning environment,” said Cerri Banks, Skidmore’s dean of students, in a prepared statement.

Both Skidmore and UAlbany have emphasized the bans also apply to e-cigarettes and vaping devices, which have garnered increased attention from health experts and educators as a younger generation of smokers eschew cigarettes in favor of the new method of nicotine delivery.

“We included e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the policy because nicotine in any form is highly addictive,” Banks said.

UAlbany’s policy also covers events hosted by the university, as well as any on-campus events hosted by other organizations.

“In the simplest terms, this means that, as of Jan. 1, there will be no locations on any of UAlbany’s campuses where anyone will be permitted to use tobacco products of any kind,” wrote Michael Christakis, UAlbany’s vice president for student affairs, in a campuswide letter.

As they roll out the new prohibitions, which were previously adopted and communicated at both schools, the colleges are also promoting craving management and smoking cessation programs to help smokers kick the habit.

Skidmore has scheduled a smoke-free launch event for Jan. 28 at Case Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., where smoking cessation help will be available.

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