CQUniversity one of the first in Queensland to go smoke-free

Published:30 November 2017

CQUniversity will become a smoke-free institution across its entire physical footprint from 1 January, 2018.

CQUniversity Australia will become a smoke-free institution across its entire footprint from 1 January, 2018.

The new policy will mean that smoking will not be permitted on any of CQUniversity’s 23 physical sites across Australia, including their direct external boundaries.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Scott Bowman said the introduction of the smoke-free policy was the result of a Queensland Health recommendation to ban smoking across all education and health facilities across the State.

“In preparation for the imposed ban, our Occupational Health and Safety team conducted a smoking habits survey for CQUni staff and students to identify behaviours and gain a better understanding of any difficulties that may have been involved in the enforcement of this policy,” Professor Bowman said.

“The survey results clearly showed that a large portion of CQUniversity’s community are non-smokers, and more importantly that they were supportive of a non-smoking ban,” he said.

“In turn, it was a no-brainer for CQUniversity to adopt Queensland Health’s recommendation to ban smoking across all of our campuses.”

Professor Bowman said the new policy would mainly impact CQUniversity’s campuses on more expansive grounds that currently permit smoking in designated areas.

“It should be noted that all ‘vertical’ campuses – for example our buildings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – already enforce a smoke-free policy.”

Professor Bowman said that from 1 January, all students, staff, alumni and any visitors to CQUniversity campuses, would be asked to comply with the introduction of the smoke-free policy by not smoking anywhere on university grounds.

“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and is responsible for a number of chronic health issues such as cancer, artery damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and many others,” he said.

In the lead up to implementing the new policy, Professor Bowman said the University would work closely with its Allied Health academics.

“Our Allied Health team is very supportive of the move and look forward to seeing improved community health and wellbeing as a result.

“We want our staff, students and alumni to be healthy and able to enjoy clean air when on our campuses,” he said.

“We understand that the new policy will affect some of our people and we also know that it can be extremely difficult to quit smoking and as a result we will be providing our staff and students who are smokers with information, resources and support to quit the habit.”

CQUni will join one other Queensland university in going smoke-free from January 1, with all Queensland universities set to adopt the no-smoking policy by World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, 2018.