At Victoria University we are committed to providing a safe and healthy campus environment for staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors. One of the steps in addressing was to make all University campus properties tobacco/smoke-free from 31 May 2016 (to coordinate with 'World No Tobacco Day').
We recognise an individual’s right to choose to smoke. However, the University is minimising the smoking-related harm to all occupants of the University’s campuses with a smoke-free environment.
In 'Tobacco & smoke-free':
Why are we smoke free?
The University wants to encourage healthier lifestyle choices for staff, students and the wider community who share and visit our campuses.
VU's Professor Peter Dawkins, together with other University Vice Chancellors made a public commitment to become a tobacco/smoke-free university in 2014 at the Australian Higher Education Conference in Canberra.
The University also has legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace and to protect staff, students and visitors from the serious health risks associated with exposure to second hand smoke (passive smoking).
Effects of smoking
Medical evidence is irrefutable that second hand smoke (passive smoking) causes serious diseases and harm to others including non-smokers.
Reasons to quit
Common reasons people say they quit smoking include the following:
- avoid health risks
- breathe better
- get healthy
- be a role model
- save money (see the cost of smoking calculator)
- regain control
- pregnant, protect my new family.
Health benefits of not smoking
Did you know that within a day of not smoking:
- almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream?
- the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles?
- your fingertips become warmer and your hands steadier?
Places the smoking ban applies
The Tobacco/Smoke free initiative applies to all University campuses and facilities, ovals, outdoors areas, and all University leased premises.
The policy applies in all Victoria University:
- premises and open spaces
- owned or controlled vehicles.
Student residences are also included in the tobacco/smoke-free initiative.
Products the ban applies to
This ban applies to all smoke and tobacco products.
The ban prohibits the inhalation and exhalation of smoke or vapour from tobacco, herbs, drugs or other substance by using any apparatus.
Products not allowed include all tobacco, cigarette, cigar, water pipe, e-cigarette or any other product containing tobacco designed for human consumption or use.
A note about e-cigarettes & vapours
Electronic cigarettes and vapours are currently Illegal in Australia without a prescription, and as such are banned from use at VU.
Nicotine that has not been medically prescribed is considered a ‘dangerous poison’ under drugs and poisons laws. These apparatus do still omit a vapour and it is unclear as to the health risks of the chemicals being omitted. There are also electronic cigarettes that do not contain nicotine. These products can be sold in retail stores so long as the manufacturers do not make ‘therapeutic’ claims – for example, claims that the products can help people quit smoking. Only products that have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration can be marketed as quitting aids.
So far, no electronic cigarette has received approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration. It is unclear by looking at the apparatus which one includes nicotine and which doesn’t, and which user holds a prescription for the use of it and who doesn’t. It has therefore been decided that all electronic cigarettes and vapours will be included in the ban.
Enforcing the initiative
If you see people smoking anywhere on VU grounds you are within your rights to respectfully:
- advise smokers that all University campuses are smoke free and
- ask them to move off campus or put the tobacco product out.
Smokers will be strongly encouraged to refrain from smoking on all University campuses. Those persistently breaching the rule may be subject to disciplinary action or a request to leave campus.
How to approach smokers on campus
You can encourage people not to smoke on campus. Some key phrases to use are:
"Hi did you know VU is now tobacco and smoke free?"
"Hi, VU is a Tobacco/Smoke Free University … if you'd like to smoke please find somewhere off campus, as smoking is now against University policy."
If you're unsure what to say you can point out the "Share Clean Air – VU is Smoke Free" signs or hand them a post card which are available at Student Service Centres.
This is about ensuring that smoke doesn’t cause harm to others. Non-smokers have a right to breathe clean air that is not contaminated by carcinogens and other harmful substances in tobacco smoke. Smokers can continue to smoke outside University grounds.
We have put together some links about tobacco, cancer and quit help which might be useful if you're trying to stop smoking.
- I can quit
- Quit website, which includes a Quitting Plan that includes a smoking diary, health and craving tips, and quit coaching methods. You can even sign up for a free quit pack
- Tobacco in Australia
- Tobacco Tactics
- World Cancer Research Fund
- Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH)
- Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Remember the Quitline has support to help anyone who wants to quit:
- Phone: 13 7848
- Request a Quitline callback
- Get Quit Coach advice
- Get QuitTxt support - provides regular SMS messages including tips and encouragement to help you keep on track throughout your quit attempt.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has information about accessing the Live Well Online Support website. It is an extensive online library of informative articles and self-help tools available free for any VU employee to use.
It has straight forward and immediately accessible information on workplace and personal issues.
The EAP can be used to enhance and stimulate personal awareness and to promote self-development. Access the EAP 24/7, 365 days of the year either online or via the EAP support line on 1300 327 288.
Our counsellors provide professional services designed to assist students in their personal, psychological and social development. Contact VU Counselling Services to speak with one our the counselling professionals about quitting or dealing with cravings.
iPhone & Android apps to quit smoking
The following free apps are available for download on both iPhone or Android devices. These apps have been purposely built to help you quit smoking:
- My QuitBuddy
- Smoke Free
- LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach
- Quit Smoking: Cessation Nation
- Craving to Quit
Contact us to find out more VU smoke-free campus initiative.
You can provide feedback or ask for more information about:
- the Tobacco/Smoke-free initiative
- the effects of smoking
- how to quit smoking.