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AUT University announced today that its three teaching campuses in Auckland will become smoke-free.
This extends the current prohibition to all buildings and open spaces within the City, North Shore and Manukau campuses.
AUT Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack says the decision will help provide a healthier environment for students, staff and visitors, and is consistent with AUT’s position as a leading university in health-science education and research.
“The decision to be smoke-free is very much in keeping with our strong focus on research and teaching in health and sports science disciplines,” says Derek.
AUT already provides a range of support services to staff and students to help them quit smoking.
The university will spend the rest of this year working closely with staff and students to implement the plan from 1 February 2012.
“We have a large cohort of staff and students who will welcome this decision. Many staff and students have advocated for smoke- free spaces in forums and student publications.”
McCormack said the decision aligned with the University of Auckland’s smoke-free status, along with Auckland Council’s plans to make parks across the region smoke-free.
“Our neighbour, the University of Auckland, has successfully implemented a smoke-free policy, so in joining forces we collectively provide a smoke-free Learning Quarter in the city.”
Ben Youdan, from anti-smoking lobby group ASH says the decision is a great move as it will help young people to live a smoke-free life.
“Not only is this good for staff and students at AUT but it will also have positive health implications for the wider community. We’re delighted,” he says.
The Ministry of Health recognises smoking as the leading cause of preventable illness and death in New Zealand.