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Fisher Announces Smoke/Tobacco/Vape-Free Campus Policy

September 11, 2019

Effective January 1, 2020, St. John Fisher College will become a smoke, tobacco, and vape-free campus.

The new policy prohibits smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, in all College buildings and campus grounds, including College-owned vehicles. This also includes parking lots, fields, stadiums, and recreational areas.

The move to adopt the policy began when undergraduates in the Student Nurses Association brought forth a proposal to the Student Government Association. Following a student vote in favor of such a policy, President Gerard J. Rooney convened a task force led by Dr. Dianne Cooney Miner, dean of the Wegmans School of Nursing, and Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, to begin a campus-wide discussion about Fisher becoming a smoke-free campus.

“This policy is part of the College’s commitment to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all members of the campus community,” said Dr. Rooney, in a message to campus about the new policy. “My thanks to Drs. Cooney Miner and Birnie and the entire task force for their leadership in this important work.”

Dr. Gabriela Cipriano, associate professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, and Dr. Jonelle Mattiacio, assistant professor of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences were both instrumental in guiding the task force in its work.  Over the course of a year, the group held ongoing campus-wide discussions around the creation of a policy and conducted a survey to assess support for its implementation. The results were largely in favor of a smoke-free campus.

“In a recent survey administered through the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI) and Georgia State University, 82 percent of Fisher student respondents agreed that colleges have a responsibility as part of their mission to promote healthy behaviors and to adopt policies that ensure people have smoke-free air to breathe,” Mattiacio said.

Cipriano, whose clinical research and pharmacy practice interests include ambulatory patient care involving smoking cessation, said the College will work with Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield to offer individual and group cessation programming and the task force will create educational and informational sessions to provide additional support and resources for members of the campus community.

“For any person ready to quit, guidance on how to obtain support will be made accessible on Fisher’s website. Cessation support is also offered to our students through the Health and Wellness Center, where they will have access to clinicians and appropriate pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options; and our faculty and staff will have access to resources and programming through the College’s Healthy U and Excellus Quit For Life programs,” said Cipriano.

Cipriano also said that individuals not insured by Excellus can access the New York State Quit Line at 1-866-NY-Quits.