By Mike Maraghi, Staff Writer
St. John Fisher has established a Smoke Free Task Force with the intention of eliminating student and faculty smoking in all public areas.
This initiative originated from senators of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Wegmans School of Nursing (WSON) after 350 students were surveyed on the topic of a smoke free campus. Of those who participated, the majority indicated that they would be in favor of a more smoke free campus.
The task force will consist of a committee with representatives from the Wegmans School of Pharmacy (WSOP), WSON, Facilities Services, Safety and Security, Human Resources, Health and Wellness Center, Excellus and Campus and Residence Life. The committee will work to accomplish goals that will create a smoke free campus.
The goal is to have designated smoking areas (smoking huts) by the summer of 2018. The long-term goal is to gradually move towards a tobacco free campus entirely. While senators recognize that eliminating on campus smoking in its entirety is neither possible nor reasonable, the proposal suggests that designated smoking areas will promote a cleaner campus and will help eliminate potential side effects of secondhand smoke.
Dr. Gabriel Cipriano, Associate Professor WSOP, and Dr. Jonelle Mattiacio, Assistant Professor of Biology, are co-leading the Smoke Free Task Force.
“Dr. Mattiacio and I had a common interest in promoting a healthy campus and lifestyle for our students and great interest in helping to push forward a student driven initiative,” said Dr. Cipriano.
Fisher currently follows Monroe County and New York State Health Department regulations, which prohibits smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, in any college building and vehicle. Smoking is also prohibited in residence halls, including stairwells, lounges, lobbies and individual rooms. Additionally, the college maintains a smoke free area within 50 feet of all buildings.
“As a pharmacy practice faculty, I have the opportunity to not only teach our pharmacy students about non pharmacological and pharmacological smoking cessation interventions, but also serve our patients in the community in working with them one on one through their smoking cessation process,” said Dr. Cipriano.
Eric Green, sophomore, agrees with the school’s new direction.
“I think it would be great for the students and faculty and everyone on campus to see Fisher smoke free,” said Green. “Hopefully we can find a solution that works for both sides, as second-hand smoke can be a real concern.”