Upstate News

July 28, 2004
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate seeks smoke-free campus by August 2005

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., has set the goal of having a completely smoke-free environment at SUNY Upstate—no smoking within the buildings or on the grounds owned or leased by SUNY Upstate—beginning Aug. 1, 2005.

“We are responsible for providing a safe environment for our employees, students, volunteers, patients, and visitors,” Eastwood said. “Achieving a smoke-free environment is the right thing to do. Also, this is squarely within the mission of Upstate, which is dedicated to preventing disease and improving health through education, research and health care. Smoking on the Upstate campus contradicts that mission,” he said.

“Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and a host of other disorders,” he added. “The cessation of smoking markedly improves health and the prospects for longer life. Also, exposure to second-hand smoke is a health risk for non-smokers.”

Current smoking policy prohibits smoking inside SUNY Upstate buildings, including University Hospital, and at entrances to buildings. Under the new proposal, smoking would be prohibited anywhere on campus, both inside and outside of buildings. Eastwood said the proposed policy would be especially helpful in eliminating secondhand smoke from building entrances and other external environments.

To make the smoke-free policy more manageable for smokers, Eastwood said the new policy will include educational and smoking cessation programs to help employees who want to quit smoking, but have been unable to do so. “We intend to give as much encouragement and support as we can to our employees and others who want to break the addiction of smoking,” he said.

Eastwood announced the intitiative today to employees, volunteers and students in an open letter published in the bimonthly campus newsletter, Upstate Update.


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