Q. When will the tobacco-free policy take effect?
A. No use of tobacco products will be allowed on campus as of Aug. 1, 2014. Areas on campus where tobacco use is allowed will be restricted leading up to this date.
Q. What college properties will be covered by this policy?
A. Our main campus, the Paul Smith’s College VIC, the Saranac Lake residence hall, and athletics field are included, among other properties.
Q. What cessation products and programs will be available?
A. The college’s health insurance plans cover prescription medications to help users quit. Paul Smith’s will provide additional quitting aids as well. Information on nicotine patches, gum and similar products will be made available, and support groups to help tobacco users quit will be formed.
If you are carrying your own health insurance plan, ask what kinds of resources are available to you.
Q. What consequences will be faced by people who violate the policy?
A. Students will be issued a warning for their first offense. As with other on-campus violations, subsequent offenses will be handled through the student judicial system. Potential penalties include fines and/or community service, although these details are still being determined.
For others, including faculty, staff, and visitors, warnings will be distributed upon first offense. Subsequent offenses will result in penalties including fines, termination or removal from campus.
Q. How will the use of chew and similar tobacco products be enforced in residence halls?
A. Evidence of tobacco use in dorms will result in sanctions. (Possession of tobacco products is not covered under our new policy – just use.) Enforcement procedures will be the same as listed above.
Q. Will visitors to campus be expected to follow this policy?
A. All campus visitors – families, contractors, spectators to sporting events, and others – will be required to abide by this policy, which will be posted clearly on campus. Enforcement procedures will be the same as listed above.
Q. I don’t want to quit using tobacco – what will you do when I go off-campus to smoke or chew?
A. We’re hoping that you might take this opportunity to stop using tobacco. If you don’t want to, though, you are welcome to use tobacco anywhere that it is legally permissible.
Q. I’m just going to go into the woods on campus and smoke. Won’t that make a huge mess and pose a danger to animals and wildlife?
A. As mentioned above, tobacco use will not be permitted anywhere on campus once this policy takes effect. If you violate this policy, you will be subject to sanctions. We would expect that you would treat tobacco use in the wilderness anywhere the same: That you would use your own common sense and good judgment in cleaning up after yourself, leaving no trace of your actions.
Q. If tobacco use isn’t bothering other individuals, why is it banned? How does chewing tobacco affect others?
A. There is no safe level of tobacco use. Paul Smith’s College is devoted to the education and well-being of all of its students, faculty, staff and employees. Providing a tobacco-free environment is a step toward this goal.