29 May 2014

smoke-free signThe University of South Australia is launching a two-pronged attack on smoking, making all campuses smoke-free from World No Tobacco Day on May 31, and providing support to help students and staff kick the habit.

More than 70 hectares of University-owned grounds will become smoke-free, and staff and students will be offered free Quit SA information sessions, presented by BUPA. Staff will also be subsidised to access nicotine replacement therapy.

UniSA’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, says the health and wellbeing of students and staff is central to the move to become a smoke-free university.

“Smoking and its related diseases are a massive public health issue. It’s not only the number-one cause of cancer deaths in the country, but is also the largest preventable cause of cancer.”

“Becoming a smoke-free zone helps us to encourage healthier choices and provide a safer learning, research and work environment for everyone. We know it’s a hard habit to quit, so we’re also providing free information sessions so that people can get support for giving up.” Prof Lloyd says.

The smoke-free initiative was voted a ‘quick win’ in unijam, an online brainstorming and crowdsourcing event for all UniSA staff and students in May 2013, and is now part of the University’s long-term strategic plan, Crossing the Horizon.

“We listened to our community and this was a high-order issue for people who were concerned with making UniSA a better place to work and study,” Prof Lloyd says.

“As leading educators and researchers working in key areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and population health, and with the knowledge we’re generating at our Centre for Cancer Biology, it simply makes good sense to lead by example and institute the smoke-free policy.”

Media contact: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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