Canisius, USA recognized by non-profit for becoming a smoke-free campus

President John J. Hurley accepted an award on behalf of Canisius College in recognition of becoming a smoke-free campus during the Great American Smokeout in the Science Hall Commons this Thursday.

President John J. Hurley and USA President Abigail Hughes accepted an award at the Great American Smokeout (Lauren Schifley/The Griffin)

During the Great American Smokeout, Canisius College was granted an award presented by Cicatelli Associates Incorporated (CAI) in recognition for becoming a smoke-free campus last year this Thursday in the Science Hall.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event that takes place on the third Thursday of November. Millions of American adults still smoke and it is one of the single-largest preventive contributors to disease and early death.

The event was held to raise awareness about the impacts of smoking and was an opportunity for students to be connected to resources in the area such as, Roswell Park and Independent Health, to help those who are looking to quit.

President John J. Hurley accredited the Undergraduate Student Association (USA) and a survey they conducted that helped to push the Canisius community towards becoming a smoke-free campus. The ban includes smoking, tobacco products and vaping.

President Hurley said, “we are in a college here trying to teach young people what their futures should be and how to make wise decisions, and that means wise decisions about their career, right and wrong and about their health and [the] health of those around them.”

A couple years ago, President Hurley was approached with an initiative to make the campus smoke-free, which had little support. Last year, students raised this initiative again in which USA conducted a survey where an overwhelming majority wanted the campus to be free of smoke from tobacco products.

The promotion of this policy will be further promoted on campus by USA’s Public Health Committee chair, Alyssa Deacon, who will be working alongside others to find new ways to promote this policy to everyone part of campus. These areas of confusion will become more clear once this initiative is promoted more, said Hughes.

In light of this recent award and policy for Canisius to be smoke-free, USA President Abigail Hughes said the actions Canisius take affect those in the surrounding communities, and in return help to promote caring for the whole person outside campus. 

“The Undergraduate Student Association’s Public Health Committee seeks to empower students to value their physical, mental and social health through education, opportunity and connection with the community,” said Hughes.

Project director of CAI, Stan Martin, along with another representative were present at the event. Martin said that their partnership with Canisius will set an example for the rest of Buffalo and is a symbol that not just one entity can do this alone, we can no longer operate in cycles if we want to be effective.”

Despite the large numbers of Americans dying from tobacco products there is still a lot of progress to be made, Martin said.

Mike Pesarchick contributed to reporting to this article.

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