Board of Trustees, Chancellor Zimpher Call For "Tobacco-Free SUNY"

June 12, 2012

Albany – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today passed a resolution to support a “Tobacco-Free SUNY” policy and the development of New York State legislation that bans the use of tobacco on grounds and facilities and in vehicles owned, leased, or controlled by SUNY.

In doing so, SUNY becomes the largest public university system in the country to adopt a comprehensive tobacco-free policy.

“Tobacco use on college campuses is a serious public health issue for which SUNY can be a larger part of the solution,” said Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “By establishing a policy that will prohibit the use of tobacco among our 468,000 students and 88,000 employees on campuses across New York, we will have a positive impact on their health and that of our visitors.”

“SUNY has a responsibility to promote the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors while they are on our campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “I commend the Board for making the health of these groups a priority and I look forward to working with legislative leaders to develop a state law that will make SUNY 100 percent tobacco-free by the end of next year.”

Today’s resolution is a result of the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Tobacco-Free SUNY, which included broad representation of SUNY’s students, faculty, staff, campus administration, along with other partners from the community, in an effort to lead a collaborative implementation process of a tobacco-free SUNY policy.

Under current law and a policy adopted by the State University Board on January 11, 2007, smoking is banned on SUNY campuses in indoor areas, including residence halls, and in vehicles owned or leased by the State University.

Studies show that young people ages 18-24 have the highest smoking rate of all adults; and smoking contributes significantly to the risk of fires in buildings, dormitories, and other campus structures.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications