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Auckland Uni begins the year smoke free

Monday 1 Mar 2010 5:39 p.m.

By Kim Choe

Students starting the new academic year at the University of Auckland have been given a clear message - no smoking.

The university is the first in the country to impose a total smoking ban on all of its campuses, including outdoor areas.

Students enjoying orientation week at the University of Auckland were also liking the clean air, with smoking now banned on all university property.

Student Gabrielle Free says she supports the ban.  

“I think it's pretty good. Because it works out that everyone that doesn't want to smoke doesn't have to have their second hand fumes,” she says.

Student Gareth Hawken says the ban might help him to quit smoking.

“It encourages people like me to smoke a lot less. You know, popping out of one class to run to another - you don't really have time to go out onto the street,” he says.

The ban includes outdoor areas like the quad which was often used by smokers in the past.

Students wanting a cigarette must now go onto public property.

As expected not everyone is happy about the ban, Elissar Shumane says the new law treats university students like school children.

“I think it's a pretty stupid idea, considering everyone at uni is 18 and an adult so you should pretty much be able to do what you want - it's not high school,” she says.

However, the university won't be taking a hard line on enforcement; saying only repeat, deliberate offenders will be disciplined.

Auckland University registrar Tim Greville says that staff don’t want to be constantly monitoring students.

“We want this to be something where we don't come down and appear to be smoking police, but get people to realise that this is a sensible thing for everyone to be doing,” he says.

One of the university’s cafeterias was still selling cigarettes today, its manager says they're bound by contractual agreements, but they intend to get rid of them in six months.

Other universities spoken to by 3 News say they're happy with their current smoke free policies, and have no immediate plans to extend them as far as Auckland’s.

3 News

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