Byline: HELEN RAE
A TOTAL smoke-free policy has been introduced at a Newcastle university.
Northumbria University's School of Health, Community and Education Studies announced the smoking ban policy at the Coach Lane Campus, which came into effect on September 1.
The policy aims to reflect the environments students will go on to work in and means smoking will not be allowed in any part of the premises or across the outside areas of the campus.
The smoking ban applies to anyone who enters the grounds of Coach Lane Campus and has been developed to protect all employees, students, customers and visitors from exposure to second-hand smoke and to comply with the Health Act 2006.
Roy Stephens, Dean at the university, said: "There is a substantial body of evidence that identifies the health issues that passive smoking poses to all who inhale secondary smoke.
"As part of our duty of care to staff, students and visitors to our Coach Lane site we are delighted that our step taken to implement a no-smoking policy will provide a safe and healthy environment for all.
"This is an auspicious start to a new term as it emphasises the importance of our obligation to have a safe and pleasant working environment."
Associate Dean Kath McCourt said: "It is 10 years since the Government produced the White Paper 'Smoking Kills'. This was a milestone in public health policy.
"We know smoking is a significant cause of most cancer deaths, cardiovascular disease and deaths from respiratory disease, especially here in the North East.
"Smoking is also a key cause of health inequalities.
"We also know that a vast number of people become smokers in early adulthood.
"Therefore, as the school of Health, Community and Education Studies, we need to encourage people not to start smoking and help smokers give up to reduce health inequalities and join the public in supporting tobacco control and smoke free air.
"This smoking ban on campus will enhance and improve the environment for all employees, students and visitors to the school.
"We have provided firsthand advice to all staff and students over a considerable period of time.
"Promoting a smoke-free work and social space will greatly enhance their experience of university life.
"We also need to recognise the significant input that our students, as health care professionals, need to have in their ability to educate and advise patients and clients about smoking cessation and in turn, contribute to reducing local inequalities and improve the health of the local population. …