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March 8, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Smoking banned on Auckland Uni campus

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Vic to keep on puffing

Auckland University has become a smoke-free campus, for both staff and students. The smoking ban was introduced on 1 January 2010, after being voted on by Auckland University Council at the end of 2008.

The smoking ban covers all buildings and land owned by Auckland University, including areas previously designated as smoking areas. The ban does not include any public areas such as the roads and footpaths surrounding the university.

The change was made to improve the conditions on campus resulting in a “healthier and cleaner environment for our staff and students to thrive, and take pride in”. On the university website it states that of the 5000 people who die per year, 400 of these were from passive smoking.

The policy is not directly aimed at telling staff and students to quit smoking, although it is considered a step in this direction by many.

Victoria University Director of Campus Services Jenny Bentley says the university does not permit smoking in any internal areas, and has no plans to review the current policy.
VUWSA President Max Hardy says Victoria’s current policies seem to be working.

“We have not had any complaints about smoking causing any concerns or impeding students’ enjoyment.

“If the majority of students supported the idea of a smoke-free campus then it would be something VUWSA would get behind, but there is no point in being unnecessarily draconian about it.”

The reception of this ban by Auckland University students is mixed. One student stated that the majority of his peers support the ban, although fear that it will result in blocked footpaths and public areas around campus, as these are not smoke-free. He says the environmental benefits including less litter and fresher air throughout campus are a big drawcard for students.

This introduction of a smoke-free university campus follows in a strain of anti-smoking campaigns in recent times. The proposal to ban smoking in many outdoor areas including beaches was one such push from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, aiming at making New Zealand smoke-free within 10 years. John Key, however, reportedly does not support this proposal as he thinks it is too “nanny state”.

Other organisations pushing for the end of smoking in New Zealand is the prominent Quit Group, with the free Quitline service, who state their mission to be a smoke-free Aotearoa by 2020.

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