As of fall 2006, all New York University residence halls will be smoke-free, the University announced today. The new policy will cover all undergraduate and graduate housing.
With the move, NYU will join hundreds of colleges and universities that have banned smoking in their residence halls, including the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Harvard University (including Harvard Law), Yale University (including Yale Law), and the California, Ohio, and Florida state systems. Housing provided by NYU’s School of Medicine has been smoke-free since 1994.
In a recent survey of the 950-member Association of College and University Housing Officers International, 612 had banned smoking in residence halls. In addition, the New York State legislature is currently considering a bill that would impose a statewide ban on smoking on college and university campuses.
The decision follows the unanimous recommendation of a working group composed of students, faculty, and staff, which has explored the issue for the past 18 months.
“I am glad to see NYU finally ban smoking in our residence halls,” said Trisha Trigilio, chair of the Inter Residence Hall Council’s Residential Advocacy committee. “We were really behind the times.
“The new policy reflects the University’s concern for the health of all residents, smoking and non-smoking. The IRHC will be doing all we can to educate residents about the change in policy and help interested smokers to quit. A smoker myself, I can nevertheless recognize that this is the best decision for the University to make.”
Said Henry Chung, NYU’s associate vice president for student health: “As we explored the issue of smoking in our residence halls, one thing became clear from every constituency we spoke with making our residence halls smoke-free was not only a popular thing to do, it was something we had an obligation to do.
“Clearly the risks of smoking and of second-hand smoke are well known, and once you factor in improved fire safety, this became an easy decision.”
NYU provides housing to more than 13,000 students, living in 24 undergraduate and graduate residence halls and properties. The policy will apply to both NYU-owned and leased properties.
The University also provides smoking cessation assistance through its Student Health Center. The Great NYU Smokeout combines practical information with supportive services to help students attain a smoke-free lifestyle. More information is available online at: http://www.nyu.edu/nyuhc/smokeout/.