UON is now smoke-free, no butts

Monday, 3 July 2017

Staff, students and visitors to UON will breathe even fresher air from 1 July 2017 as the University adopts a 100% smoke-free policy. This supports the University’s strategic objective to be the safest and healthiest university in Australia for staff and students.

Chair of Healthy UON and Associate Director Student Care and Equity, Dr Stephanie Brookman, sees the harmful effects of smoking first-hand and has lead the Smoke-Free Initiative since its progressive implementation in 2014.

“This is such as positive step for the University,” Stephanie said.

“Statistics tell us that the majority of people don’t smoke, so by going smoke-free the University is protecting those who choose not to smoke and setting a really good example for the community.”

Last week the designated smoking areas were removed from all campuses and Healthy UON is helping the transition by employing Quit Advocates and offering support through the Callaghan Campus Pharmacy and University Health Service.

Quit Advocates will support the roll out by distributing replacement nicotine treatments and personal bins for cigarette butts and reinforcing the message that people must leave university grounds to smoke. The Advocates can be identified by their red jumpers.

“We have strategies and programs to support staff and students who smoke,” Stephanie said.

“Someone who really doesn’t want to quit, may need support and can get advice from the pharmacy or the Health Service to help with managing cravings while on campus, through measures such as nicotine replacement.”

In her work as a general practitioner in the University Health Service, Stephanie has seen staff with severe respiratory issues and is passionate about helping people to quit.

“When we moved to partially smoke-free with the designated smoking areas, it motivated quite a few staff members to give up smoking,” she said.

“Ideally I’d like to see everyone stop smoking because we know the harm it can cause,” Stephanie said.

The smoke-free policy will not be fully implemented for the student residences immediately. From January 2018 the residences will be smoke free during the day but to ensure student safety at night, students will be able to smoke at designated smoking areas between the hours of 7pm – 7am.

To help track our progress in going smoke free, please advise if you see someone smoking on campus by emailing usafe@newcastle.edu.au. To read more about the policy and FAQs, please visit www.newcastle.edu.au/smokefreeuon

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