SUNY Oswego prepares for Tobacco Free 2015

Aug 15, 2014

SUNY Oswego is joining a growing number of colleges in the United States going smoke free on campus.

The college will be completely tobacco-free starting Jan. 1, according to Jerald Woolfolk with SUNY Oswego.

She says the plan allows for students and faculty to police themselves like they would at other smoke-free places, like hospitals and shopping centers.

"We're not thinking about penalizing somebody if they light up a cigarette, because we're hoping that they don't," Woolfolk said. "That it will -- once we say smoke and tobacco-free, that it will become very uncomfortable on this campus if you do anything other than that."

The Tobacco Free 2015 initiative has picked up steam since its introduction on Earth Day. Woolfolk says its an expansion of rules that are already in place.

"The residence halls have been smoke-free for a long time, so the residential students -- they're accustomed to that," Woolfolk explained. "And this, just from my perspective, when you walk around this campus you don't see a lot of people smoking anyway, compared to other campuses where I've been."

SUNY Oswego expects the rule to be self-enforced by everyone, just like it is at other public locations where smoking is prohibited.

"We believe that our constituency, visitors to our campus, will respect that because what we value is a clean, safe environment," Woolfolk said.

SUNY Oswego had dubbed their smoke-free plan "OzQuits." Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are prohibited under the rule, but it also covers e-cigarettes that use liquid nicotine.

Woolfolk says by removing all forms of tobacco, the college can promote a healthier and cleaner atmosphere for the campus community.

SUNY Oswego joins SUNY Cortland, Cayuga Community College and other state schools in the region attempting to go tobacco-free. Several, like SUNY Upstate Medical University and Broome Community College, are already smoke-free.