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Creating a smoke-free university

Why we’re going smoke free

The University  of Tasmania has been on a journey since 2014 working toward becoming  a smoke-free campus.  In 2018 we made our first step towards achieving this by creating designated smoking bays, the final step in this plan, to become fully smoke free, was to be implemented in 2020 but had to be paused due to COVID.  We are now implementing the final stage of this plan to become a fully smoke-free university.

We want to provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone. To support this, smoking and vaping will no longer be permitted on any of our campuses.

This includes buildings, properties, grounds and vehicles. It also applies to everyone on campus, including staff, students, visitors and contractors.

Many of our campuses are already smoke free. However, we’ll no longer provide any designated smoking areas after 5 July.

A more sustainable university

By reducing our impact on the environment, a smoke-free campus supports our commitment to sustainability. It also puts us closer to our goal of becoming a gold STAR ranked university.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STAR) approach focuses on our physical health, as well as the environment. More information on our commitment to sustainability and how you can get involved is available here.

When is the University of Tasmania going smoke free?

At the end of June 2021, all designated smoking bays will be removed from campuses.

On 5 July, we will have transitioned to being a fully smoke-free university.

There are many reasons you might like to quit smoking including health benefits, psychological and social benefits or maybe to have some extra money. We understand that smoking is a personal choice. However, we offer support for those community members who wish to quit or reduce their smoking.

Specific Support for University of Tasmania Staff and Students

  1. 'Commit to Quit: Subsidised Support for Quitting (staff and students)

    For any student or staff member looking to quit, we will provide up to $100 subsidy.  Information about the subsidy is available here

  2. Employee Assistance Program (staff only)

    You can access, confidential and tailored support from counsellors with specific experience and skills in supporting people to quit smoking. All you need to do is request support to quit smoking when you book an appointment.

  3. University Counselling Service (Students only)

Students can book a confidential appointment with a university counsellor here.


Other Support

Quit Tasmania 

Quit Tasmania offers a range of services including professional counsellors who can support people who smoke at any stage of their quitting journey – from just thinking about smoking to making a quit attempt and staying quit, including if they go back to smoking and want to talk about making another quit attempt.

  • Call Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) to talk with a counsellor or click here to request a call back.
  • Order a free Quit Pack
  • See their website for other available information and resources here.

I Can Quit- NSW Specific Support

For any student or staff member living in New South Wales, I Can Quit offers free resources and support to those thinking of reducing or quitting smoking.

https://www.icanquit.com.au/

My Quit Buddy App

There is an App available to download to support you in your quit attempt. It has practical tips and advice on quitting, with fun exercises and games to keep your hands busy and distract you when you feel the urge to light up.

Available here

See Medical Advice

We would recommend that you talk with your doctor or health professional before making any changes.


Celebrating Success- Your Stories

We appreciate that reducing and quitting smoking is not a simple journey, and for some it may take a few attempts. We would like to celebrate and share your stories of success in the hope it may inspire others.

At the end of the year we will select  one student and one staff members success story who will each receive a $200 gift voucher. To share your success story, please email health.safety@utas.edu.au covering the following points:

  • What inspired you to quit?
  • How many times did you try to quit before doing so?
  • What 3 things most helped you in quitting?
  • What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to quit?

We will add your stories to our webpage

If you wish to smoke, you’ll need to go off campus or away from the University owned property. However, some public streets are also smoke free. For more information on smoking in public places, see the Tasmanian Government Smoke-Free Areas Fact Sheet or the New South Wales Smoke-Free webpage.

Boundary Maps

The  UTAS smoke-free campus guide provides the Smoke-Free boundary areas for our campuses and facilities.

You won’t be able to smoke in any area occupied or controlled by the university. This extends to areas designated as smoke free, as well as any area where smoking is normally prohibited.

These areas include:

  • All university campuses, precincts or properties owned or controlled by the University, including all buildings occupied by the University and their grounds.
  • All university vehicles.
  • Any area within 3 metres of any window, entrance to or exit from any university accommodation services building, or air intake for ventilation equipment on or in a university accommodation services building.
  • Any personal living area of any university place providing accommodation for a fee.
  • All university ships and vessels, including any open deck area.  Exception being for overnight or longer trips; smoking will then be at the discretion of the captain
  • Outdoor sports grounds while a sporting event is being conducted.
  • Any other area designated by the University as non-smoking.

What if I need to go off-campus to smoke?

Smoking is a personal choice and the University respects this right. If you are a staff member and choose to smoke, it's important to manage breaks in accordance with the University’s Enterprise Agreement (30–60-minute meal break and two rest breaks of 10 minutes).

What if I’m worried about my safety finding somewhere to smoke off university premises?

Your safety is very important to us. If you need to go for a smoke, please ensure you take the appropriate measures to keep yourself safe.

Safe Zone is a safety app which is available FREE for all students and staff, and operates across all University of Tasmania campuses and facilities – all you have to do is press a button and University Safety and Security will be able to assist.

Waste disposal?

Waste disposal units are provided at the main entries to the University’s premises. Please use these units to dispose of cigarette butts and associated tobacco products and packaging before entering any of the University’s building, properties or workplaces.

What should I do if I see someone smoking in a prohibited area?

In creating a healthier university environment we encourage all staff, students and members of the University community to be part of a positive culture change and to have respectful conversations with those smoking on campus to improve the overall quality of life for everyone.

It can be awkward to initiate a conversation about breaching the smoke free campus. Keep the conversation you have with the person casual and friendly. You should always assume that:

  • the person is not aware that the University has become smoke-free; and
  • this is the first time the person has been approached about breaching the policy.

You may like to obtain an information card from the Safety and Wellbeing Unit.

Here is an example of a script for talking to someone who is breaching the Safety Management Procedure (coming soon).

“Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that the University became smoke-free on the 5th July 2021. This card and the web page that is listed on it provide more information about the policy and smoking cessation support services if you are interested. If you want to continue smoking you need to move to a designated smoking area. Thank you”.

If at any time during the conversation you feel threatened, thank the person for their time and excuse yourself.


Report it

Non-compliance can be reported and addressed by logging a Work Request providing details of the breach in the Description section, see example below:

What happens if I report a breach?

Infrastructure Services Development (ISD)  will coordinate with security to patrol areas that are identified in work requests, inform smokers  direct them to designated areas.

How will the smoke-free campus be enforced and what penalties will be imposed for non-compliance?

The University recognises that enforcement is inappropriate terminology for attitudinal and behavioural change.

Security staff undertake regular patrols of each campus. Where an individual is found to be smoking in an area where smoking is prohibited they will be asked to cease smoking and move off  campus.  Failure to comply with this standard may result in additional action in accordance with our behaviour policy https://www.utas.edu.au/policy/policies.

I've decided to quit smoking. What's the first thing I should do?

It's a good idea to visit your GP or call the Quit line. 13 QUIT (13 7848).

Talking it through with someone will help you build motivation, prepare for quitting, choose a quitting product or method and help you stay on track once you've quit.

What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)?

Nicotine Replacement Therapy is the collective name for a range of products which deliver nicotine to the body and help counter withdrawals and strong cravings. Current NRT products available are nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, mouth spray and lozenges. Some NRT products are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which are subsidised for a 12 week course of treatment. To purchase the subsidised NRT you will need a prescription from a GP. You can claim up to $100 back on NRT through the Commit to Quit University of Tasmania subsidy.

What is Quitting Medication?

Varenicline (Champix) and Burproprion (Zyban) are prescription medications designed to reduce withdrawal symptoms and the desire to smoke. Champix is a 12 week course, and Zyban is a 9 week course. Like some NRT products, Champix and Zyban are also available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) at a subsidised rate.

How do I know which NRT or quitting medication is right for me?

Your GP, pharmacist or the Quitline 13 QUIT (13 7848) are the best people to give you advice on whether NRT or quitting medication would be beneficial and, if so, which one.

I want to quit smoking but I can't afford to get assistance?

The University will assist you by providing a subsidy of up to $100.  Further information  available here

What if I'm not addicted to nicotine?

If you smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day, the desire to smoke may be more related to habits, routines and stress rather than physical addiction to nicotine. To find out the reasons why you smoke, take the Quit Tasmania 1-minute smoking quiz.

Should I cut down gradually or stop completely?

Some people manage to cut down and quit completely but quitting completely tends to be more successful. The best way is to set a date and make a clean break. Do make your decisions in consultation with your GP or pharmacist.

I've tried to quit before and it didn't work. What can I do?

Remember that most people try to quit numerous times before they're successful. Review your past attempts to quit and think about what worked and what didn't. Try the successful strategies again. Consider your habits and your routines and how you could change them.

What kinds of things can I do when I feel the urge to smoke?

Talk with someone, go for a walk, drink water or occupy yourself with a task. Reduce your stress levels by exercising, having a hot bath or listening to some relaxing music. See more tips below for changing your smoking habits.

Some of my friends and family smoke. I'm trying to quit, what should I do when I'm with them?

Spend some time thinking about and pre planning what it might be like to spend time with them once you quit. Try some of the following tips to make it a little bit easier:

  • For the first few weeks, try to avoid situations where people are smoking.
  • Pick a phrase such as 'I'm quitting smoking' or 'no thanks, I don't smoke'
  • Consider whether you have a non-smoking friend who would be a good support person to help you stay the course.
  • Find something to reach for to keep your hands busy.
  • Be prepared to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom – wash your face, take some deep breaths. Sometimes removing yourself from the situation can be enough.
  • Be ready to step back inside or outside, walk around the block, or perhaps head home!

Tips for changing smoking habits

Smoking Habit

Strategy

First thing in the morning

Have a shower first thing

With coffee (or tea)

Change to a different drink, brand or coffee or mug, change the place where you drink it.

At morning tea

Read a magazine or book, sit in a different place, or with different people.

At the computer at home

Shift your desk around or redecorate it

After lunch/ dinner

Go for a walk

At afternoon tea

Try a herbal tea, read the paper

Straight after work

Do some exercise or meditation

Just before dinner

Eat dinner earlier or later, drink a glass of water

With alcohol

Change to a different drink, hold glass in smoking hand

As you plan your next task/ assignment/ project

Deep breathe or try a relaxation or mindfulness exercise

When you're with another smoker

Chew gum, bring a water bottle, stay indoors

As a reward – e.g. completing an assignment

Listen to music, have a piece of fruit

At night when watching TV

Change the furniture around, hold a stress ball, do some stretching

Just before bed

Have a warm drink, herbal tea or read a book

Contact Us

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us via the Staff Services Portal or by phone, students you can email us too:

Staff Services Portal: ServiceNow

Telephone Safety and Wellbeing Team: +61 3 6226 6298

Students, you can also email: health.safety@utas.edu.au