UB Becomes A Smoke-Free University; Smoking to Be Allowed Only In Selected Residence-Hall Bedrooms

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: August 29, 1994 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has become a smoke-free university, effective today (Monday, Aug. 29), with smoking prohibited in all university-owned and operated buildings, stadiums, vehicles, and at all outdoor events.

The only exception to the policy is for selected residence-hall bedrooms. While smoking will be prohibited in all areas that students use in common, or to which the public has access, smoking will be allowed in designated student bedrooms on designated floors, but only at the request of students.

"Beginning today, we're all going to have to be understanding that this change for smokers involves a transition," said Robert Wagner, UB senior vice president for university services. "We all support individuals who chose to undertake smoking cessation programs. We all need to be understanding and tolerant as we go to a smoke-free environment.

"This is the direction in which the university choses to go," Wagner added. "It's our intent to move as quickly as possible to a smoke-free environment."

UB first restricted smoking in campus buildings to specific "smoking areas" in 1990. These included private offices, sections of food-service areas marked as "smoking areas," residence-hall bedrooms and specially designated "smoking rooms."

However, since the 1990 smoking policy was implemented, additional studies have indicated that exposure to second-hand smoke is a significant risk for the non-smoker, said Ellen McNamara, assistant vice president for human resources.

Increasing concerns about the effects of second-hand smoke prompted various campus constituent groups to adopt resolutions banning smoking, McNamara said. In response to these concerns, a draft smoke-free policy was distributed widely among union representing campus employees, and among the faculty, staff and student governance organizations. The comments and suggestions from these groups were incorporated in the new no-smoking policy, she noted.

The university will assist those faculty, staff and students who wish to stop smoking by offering smoking-cessation programs and providing information on other organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, that provide information and/or assistance to people seeking to quit smoking, McNamara added.