Smoke-Free Residence Halls

11/04/2005

Contributed by Jen Richardson

The Office of Residential Life would like to announce that beginning in Fall 2006, all residence halls and apartment areas on campus will be smoke-free.

The recommendation to move to a smoke-free residence hall system was based on research emphasizing the negative effects from allowing students to smoke in the residence halls. Some of this research is highlighted below:

• New York State has passed the Clean Air Act prohibiting smoking in public buildings. While this does include all public and private colleges and universities, it does not specifically mention residence halls; however, pending legislation in both the New York State Assembly and Senate will amend this to include residence halls.
• Justification for the amendment to the Clear Air Act as written by the NYS Assembly is as follows: “Exposure to environmental tobacco (ETS) is a proven cause of disease and death in exposed nonsmokers and is estimated to be the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. ETS causes lung cancer and cancer of the nasal sinus. It both causes and exacerbates other respiratory diseases, including asthma and has been identified as a cause of cardiovascular disease and death from heart attack.”
• Nationwide, more than 27 percent of colleges and universities have banned smoking in residence halls.

In response to parent and student concerns expressed regarding health and safety, we have consistently increased the number of smoke-free residence halls and apartment buildings over the last five years, yet the demand for smoke-free housing has not been met.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support.

If you have questions or suggestions, we encourage you to contact our office at housing@ithaca.edu or the Residence Hall Association.

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