University Senate                                                                     

Proposed: November 12, 2010

Adopted: Tabled until December 3 meeting




WHEREAS                a working group on tobacco policy was created by Vice President for Campus Services Scott Wright in 2008 and charged to review Columbia’s many smoking policies and to make its own policy recommendations for review by the University Senate, and

WHEREAS                the Tobacco Work Group, a broadly representative panel of students and staff drawn from a dozen Columbia schools and administrative departments, has conducted a thorough review over the last two years, studying local laws, policies of peer institutions, and current scholarly literature on tobacco and its long-term effects, and

WHEREAS                the Work Group solicited the opinion of the Columbia community both electronically and in a series of live forums, including the Senate plenary meeting of November 13, 2009, and two subsequent meetings of the Senate External Relations Committee, and

WHEREAS                the Work Group gave serious consideration to policies ranging from the status quo to a campus-wide ban on all smoking, indoors and outdoors, of the kind adopted by the Columbia University Medical Center in 2009, and

WHEREAS                the Work Group, seeking an equitable balance between the rights and interests of smokers and non-smokers, has ultimately recommended a “consistent distance” rule, allowing people to smoke on campus only if they are at least 50 feet away from all buildings,  and

WHEREAS                the Senate External Relations Committee of the Senate, having satisfied itself that the Work Group’s main Policy recommendation is sound, has forwarded it to the Senate for action;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED              that the University Senate approve the main recommendation of the Tobacco Work Group, and adopt it as the new smoking policy for Columbia’s Morningside campus;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED                   that the Senate External Relations Committee will review the new policy in two years, with particular attention to possible enforcement issues and to the need to provide positive reinforcement for the struggle to quit smoking, through cessation programs and other means.


External Relations Committee