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American Cancer Society Honors Hudson Valley Community College for Tobacco Prohibition

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

Hudson Valley Community College today received an A grade for providing a tobacco-free campus, according to a new report, “Tobacco-Free U: 2015 NYS Dean’s List,” being released by the American Cancer Society. The report documents progress the Cancer Society has made throughout New York in achieving tobacco-free colleges and universities; more than 200 were surveyed on their tobacco-related policies between July 2014 and June 2015.

According to Darcy Czajka, senior director for Community Engagement for the society’s eastern division, this is the first time institutions are being graded in a system that designates, A for Tobacco-free; B for Smoke-free; C for Smoking Allowed in Designated Areas; D for Few Restrictions on tobacco use on campus; and I for Incomplete, or institutions still working on policy and implementation.

The report was released in a press conference at the American Cancer Society’s HopeClub in Latham on Thursday, Sept. 24. The event was attended by college president Drew Matonak. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Siena College are among others that were recognized as well.

Hudson Valley began the prohibition of tobacco use in 2013 on all its grounds, college-owned or leased properties, and in college owned, leased or rented vehicles. The policy extends to any buildings or grounds located off campus. The policy was ratified by the college's Board of Trustees in 2013 in order to provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment for our students, in accordance with a SUNY Board of Trustees’ resolution that all 64 SUNY campuses become tobacco-free.

According to the college’s policy, tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including and not limited to, cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, pipes, and oral tobacco (smokeless, chew, snuff). It also includes any product intended to mimic tobacco products or that contains tobacco flavoring.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.