The University of Newcastle, Australia

Smoke Free Campus

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The start of any year is a time when most of us resolve to undergo a metamorphosis – from sedentary beings dependent on the double shot cappuccinos and snatched sandwiches, to uber healthy beings sipping wheat grass shots on our way to the Forum.

Taking a lead from the 'Healthy UON' Program I decided in January (yet again) to make some changes to my lifestyle and not let yet another year slip by without a focus on health. I must say my plans have been somewhat derailed by late nights watching those remarkable athletes competing in sports I've never heard of in the Sochi Games. As I struggle to don my walking shoes in the early morning – having watched Torah Bright the night before – my 'fitness' gap is writ larger.

Exercise and diet are always a good starting point to make those lifestyle changes to improve our health. For some of us though, dealing with addictive behaviours such as smoking, can be a much harder task – stopping smoking is not simply about will power, it is about beating a really powerful biological addiction and needs persistence and support from patient partners and families. For those who would like support to stop smoking, our Healthy UoN Program can provide a good port of call to start you on the right track. The site offers links to web resources and a number of 'Quit Smoking' services and support groups, as well as information about the Employee Assistance Program – the University's free counselling service.

The support provided through our Healthy UoN Program goes hand-in-hand with the University's move to become a smoke free environment from 1 July 2014. This will bring us into line with other universities across Australia and the world who are working to 'walk the walk' in terms of supporting the long term health of their staff. So, from July, the majority of our campuses will be smoke free, with a small number of designated smoking areas on each campus. Further information, including 'Frequently Asked Questions', and an opportunity to provide comments and suggestions, is available at: The website will be updated over the coming weeks as we move towards 1 July.

This is one of a range of great initiatives available through the Healthy UoN program – promoting greater health and wellbeing among our University community.

Now, all I have to do is tear myself away from the scenic views of 'somewhere in Russia' – I think I may actually be addicted to the luge event – to pound the pavement to Nobby's and back - I'll let you know how I get on ...

Best wishes


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