University confirms plan to stub out smoking

Canterbury University's goal of being smoke-free by next year has been confirmed by vice-chancellor Rod Carr.

In a report to the university council, Carr said the decision would "require support from staff".

Under current policy, smokers can light-up only in designated areas around the campus.

A university spokesman said there would be consultation on the change and assistance for those wanting to stop smoking.

The university is expected to release an education and information programme within two months.

Health Sponsorship Council manager Marija Vidovich welcomed the move.

"This further de-normalises smoking and will help to reduce smoking uptake and support those who want to quit smoking."

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) health promoter Grant Hocking was pleased with the news.

"It makes no sense for institutes educating nurses, doctors, health professionals, sports professionals and future leaders ... and allowing smoking to be undertaken alongside this education."

However, the announcement met with a mixed response from students.

Smoker Conrad Rupp, 26, did not expect to see fewer smokers on campus because of the ban.

"I don't feel I'm harming anyone," Rupp said.

"No-one has to stand near me, there's enough open air around.

"It sounds like the kind of action that looks good on paper but is not a real solution."

A music student, who did not want to be identified, argued that the policy could not be policed, and that hiring people to enforce it would be a waste of money.

Non-smoker Laura Weaser, 21, said the policy was not fair.

"I don't think you should be allowed to smoke near buildings, but I think you should be able to smoke in the open," Weaser said.

The Press