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Glens Falls Hospital takes action to reduce tobacco use

Most adult smokers begin the habit as young adults, making cessation efforts during adolescence key to halting initiation and/or reducing escalation of tobacco use. In 2015, Glens Falls Hospital's Living Tobacco Free Initiative and Skidmore College partnered to plan, implement and sustain a 100% tobacco-free campus policy.

The initiative targets young adults and strives to reduce youth initiation of tobacco use, current youth tobacco use rates and second-hand smoke exposure. Additionally, it supports anyone trying to quit through cessation counseling while continuing to change social norms related to nicotine and tobacco use. Tabling events, including a main kick-off event, were held at the campus to raise awareness about the new policy and answer questions. More than 500 NYS Smokers Quitline cards were distributed for cessation support and nearly 500 permanent tobacco-free signs were installed throughout the campus. The college added the policy to new hire, new student and vendor forms, the college handbook, the college website and alumni event contracts.

The initiative resulted in the creation of a 100% tobacco-free campus-wide policy that includes the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems. More than 2,500 students, 1,000 staff and an additional 500 first-year students who join the campus community annually are now protected from secondhand smoke exposure. The number increases when considering outside vendors, laborers, alumni and community members who visit and use the campus facilities. Nearly 900 acres within the community are protected from tobacco litter, decreasing the risk of fires and protecting the environment and animals from the toxic chemicals in tobacco products.

For more information, contact Cathleen Traver, director, research and planning, at (518) 926-6899 or at ctraver@glensfallshosp.org.