Brooklyn Heights

Don’t smoke at St. Francis College!

School wins CVS grant for going tobacco-free

September 22, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Cigarette smoking is not permitted at St. Francis College, which is getting help from the CVS Health Foundation to put programs in place.  Eagle photo by Paula Katinas

Cigarette smokers can’t light up at St. Francis College because of the school’s 100 percent smoke-free policy on campus. And the school is getting help going smokeless.

St. Francis College, located at 180 Remsen St., is one of five colleges and universities in New York state receiving grants from the CVS Health Foundation to go smokeless.

In addition to St. Francis College, the schools that were awarded grants are St. John’s University, the State University of New York at Albany, Nazareth College of Rochester and the State University of New York at Potsdam.

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CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the American Cancer Society and the organization Truth Initiative, is offering a total of $1.2 million in grants to 126 colleges and universities across the country go 100 percent tobacco-free.

The grants are part of aggressive efforts by the three organizations to deliver the first tobacco-free generation, officials said.

With support from the CVS Health Foundation, the American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative, colleges are able to put in place programs to help students, faculty and staff members develop and execute anti-smoking strategies that are customized to meet the particular needs of campuses.

The organizations also provide technical assistance and other resources, including educational efforts, communication strategies and evaluations.

“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s efforts to end the epidemic of smoking and tobacco use, and expanding the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses is an important step in our efforts,” CVS Health Foundation President Eileen Howard Boone said in a statement.

“We’re confident our strategy will drive a significant decline in the number of new college-age smokers and contribute to the progress being made where a tobacco-free generation in the U.S. seems possible.”

According to a survey conducted by CVS Health, 78 percent of college students support policies that prohibit smoking on campus. The survey also found that 57 percent of college students say a tobacco-free campus is an important factor when considering applying to a college.

“With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 26, college campuses are critical in preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all,” Truth Initiative President and CEO said Robin Koval said.

“Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths, killing up to half of its users,” American Cancer Society CEO Gary Reedy said. “By partnering with the CVS Health Foundation to create tobacco-free campus environments, we can reduce youth tobacco exposure, prevent students from becoming addicted, and ultimately, reduce the number of people who get sick and die from cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.”

To see the full list of colleges receiving grants, visit

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