A breath of fresh air for another Queensland university

Published Thursday, 31 May, 2018 at 03:41 PM

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Griffith University will today join a growing list of Queensland higher education and training providers who have transitioned to ‘smoke-free’ campuses.

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said students and staff at Griffiths’ Gold Coast, Logan, Mount Gravatt, Nathan and South Bank campuses would benefit from the change.

"Queensland has a strong track record in creating smoke-free public places, and new voluntary smoke-free policies are an important next step," Minister Miles said.

"The implementation of these smoke-free policies will protect the health of more than 400,000 students and staff members from harmful second-hand smoke."

Member for Toohey Peter Russo said statistics show that more than four million Queenslanders are non-smokers and around three-quarters of adults actively avoid places where they could be exposed to other people’s smoke.

"By creating smoke-free environments, tertiary education providers are not only protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke, but are also helping smokers to quit" he said.

Minister Miles said Queensland Health was working with all tertiary education providers to reduce the use of tobacco on campuses and support students and staff to quit smoking.

"Through the smoke-free higher education and training initiative, Queensland Health is supporting organisations to develop, implement and manage smoke-free policies," he said.

"This includes providing free resources and signage, and tailored counselling services from Quitline (13 7848)."

"The initiative has also benefitted from the valuable insights of the Queensland University of Technology and Australian Catholic University, who implemented smoke-free policies prior to the initiative commencing."

"Their learning and experiences have helped inform other universities in developing and implementing their own policies."

Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Professor Sheena Reilly said the introduction of smoke-free campuses will provide a healthy and safe environment for work and study.

"As health professionals, we see the tragic effects of smoking-related diseases all too often," Professor Reilly said.

"Implementing a smoke-free policy at Griffith is a key step to promote healthy living among students, staff and visitors across our five campuses."

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan congratulated Griffith University on going smoke-free.

"Smoke-free campuses play a vital role in protecting students and staff from the harmful dangers of tobacco, and second-hand smoke," Ms McMillan said.

"Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer cases, and many other chronic diseases, in Queensland, tragically impacting thousands of lives each year."

"There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke – we urge all campuses across the State to stand with Griffith University in protecting the health of students and staff by going smoke-free."

University of Southern Queensland also became smoke-free today.

Central Queensland University, University of Sunshine Coast and Southern Cross University became smoke-free at the start of 2018.

University of Queensland, James Cook University and TAFE QLD are set to go smoke-free from 1 July 2018.


Media contact:    Katharine Wright - 0428 957 903