Monash University announced it will go smoke-free across all Victorian campuses to better support the health and wellbeing of staff, students, and visitors.
Monash is part of a joint campaign with all Victorian universities to provide a healthier environment on all campuses.
While Monash currently prohibits smoking indoors, inside vehicles and within ten metres of doorways, smoking is currently accepted on all open spaces.
The Smoke Free Monash initiative will see smoking restricted on-campus to within designated smoking points.
Monash Vice Chancellor Ed Byrne said the move to a smoke free environment was a natural progression from its current no-smoking policy, adding the University had been working towards a smoke free environment for several years.
Professor Byrne said Monash had always supported the improvement of health outcomes for staff and students by providing a healthy work and learning environment, and the new initiative was another step to ensuring this occurred.
“We believe this initiative is an important step to encouraging staff and students to take action against the harmful effects of smoking, while also reducing the impact of second-hand smoke on campus,” Professor Byrne said.
“University management understands that creating a smoke free environment is a process that cannot be achieved overnight, and therefore we are looking to a staged approach.”
The first stage will commence at the beginning of the second semester in July 2014 with restriction of smoking to designated smoking points. The second, and final phase of the smoke free initiative will be implemented following a consultation process with stakeholders with the removal of smoking points in 2016.
Professor Byrne said those wishing to quit smoking in a bid towards a healthier lifestyle would be supported by services available at the University, through programs such as University Health Services, counselling, Employee Assistance Program and QUIT Victoria.
Safety has been a key factor in assigning the designated smoking points, with other factors including access, adequate distance from buildings and eating and drinking areas.
Monash will continue to provide information and updates on the move towards a smoke-free environment for staff, students, visitors, contractors, residents and the broader university community.