Holy Smokes! Barnard Campus To Be Smoke Free
Written by Bwog Staff
In an email sent to students this afternoon, Chief Operating Officer Greg Brown announced that “Barnard College will be a smoke-free campus effective March 21, 2011, after we return from spring break.” The change, he writes, “is the result of regular requests from various members of the College community to complete a process we started in 2004 when we first limited outdoor smoking on campus.” Ashtray friendships be gone!
Some context from an October 2009 B&W article on the smoking ban: “Smoking is already prohibited at the medical center, Union Theological Seminary, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Barnard, which successfully established a similar ban in Spring 2007. Barnard, however, created two designated smoking areas on campus in response to student concerns about safety. According to Katie Palillo, [former] Barnard Student Government Association President, “Student government and a number of individuals came forth and said that not being able to smoke on their campus was inconvenient and frankly not safe if they had to go out at midnight and stand outside of our gates to smoke.” Palillo doesn’t think the Barnard ban is a significant inconvenience mostly because so few Barnard students are habitual smokers. Even so, she admits that the ban is difficult to enforce.”
Full email after the jump.
I am very pleased to announce that Barnard College will be a smoke-free campus effective March 21, 2011, after we return from spring break. The decision to proceed from our current policy, where smoking is permitted in two designated outdoor spaces, to an entirely smoke-free environment is the result of regular requests from various members of the College community to complete a process we started in 2004 when we first limited outdoor smoking on campus. Results of an SGA survey conducted this fall show that an overwhelming majority of students polled agree that proceeding with a full ban is the right thing for Barnard to do.To read the full text of the College’s official smoking policy, visit www.barnard.edu/hr/employee-guide/policies/smoking
The move is also part of a national trend on college campuses that has gained momentum over the past few years. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) reports that 466 campuses have banned smoking to date. Most recently, City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban higher-education system in the country, voted to forbid smoking on all 23 of its campuses.
In addition, going smoke-free is aligned with Mayor Bloomberg’s push for a healthier New York City. According to a January 2, 2011 count from the ANRF, New York City is one of 922 smoke-free municipalities in the U.S. and one of nearly 450 that is 100% smoke-free in workplaces, restaurants, and freestanding bars. And as you’ve likely read, a new law passed by the City Council just weeks ago bans smoking at city parks and beaches.
In basic health terms, while the risks of smoking have long been known, studies on the impact of secondhand smoke also cannot be ignored. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Findings in a 2009 CDC report indicate that there is about a 25 to 30 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Still, we understand that for smokers this change is less than ideal. We hope that those in our community who smoke will take advantage of Barnard’s smoking cessation resources. Students can go to Barnard Primary Care Health Service or ASAP (Alcohol and Substance Awareness Program) for information and assistance. Primary Care’s smoking cessation page can be found at:barnard.edu/primarycare/services/smoking. Faculty and staff who are interested in smoking cessation programs may obtain information from Human Resources. The HR office, located at 7 and 8 Milbank, has information on how to quit smoking and will be offering cessation aids such as chewing gums and lollipops. More details can be found at: www.barnard.edu/hr/employee-guide/useful-resources. In addition, residents of New York State can access services available through the New York State Quitline at 1-866-697-8487.
The success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers alike, and it is the responsibility of all members of the Barnard community to comply. For those smokers who plan to go outside the campus perimeter for a cigarette, we ask that you remain mindful of your proximity to office and dormitory windows, and to those passing by.
Chief Operating Officer