Reporter 418, 6 April 1998
Views of staff and students are being sought on how the University might put into practice the principle that people should not have to inhale others tobacco smoke whilst on campus.
Senate has proposed that smoking should be banned in public and communal areas of the University, and that as large a proportion of the campus as possible should be designated non-smoking. However, any new smoking restrictions will not be imposed until a major consultation exercise has been completed.
The principle behind the move was expressed by Senate as: ...members of the University and visitors should not have to inhale tobacco smoke during the course of their normal business in the University...
Senate also agreed that, as smoking is addictive, the position of smokers must also be recognised. It is envisaged that the University Union, student residences and, possibly, a limited number of catering areas will be excluded from the smoking ban.
The Senate debate followed a survey of department views and practices, from which it is estimated that about 42 per cent of departments had banned smoking altogether; that about a third of departments permitted smoking in single-occupancy offices; and that departments were generally reluctant to set aside smoking areas for use by non-departmental staff.
Now the University wants to hear the views of as wide a cross-section of the University population as possible not just the committed pro or anti lobbies. Although the principle of restricting smoking has been accepted, still up for debate are the nuts and bolts of how it will be implemented, whether it will apply to single occupancy offices, and when any ban will begin.
Possible ways of implementing the policy include:
- From a date such as September 1 or January 1 smoking be banned in all University buildings, including walkways, and in the immediate vicinity of entrances (for example within 20 yards);
- All offices be included in the policy, including single occupancy offices. However, as an interim measure, staff in single offices could be given an extended period (say six months) in which to make the change in departments where smoking is still allowed;
- The ban should operate in public and communal areas only; smoking should be permitted in single occupancy offices provided they are not used by others, for example, for seminars;
- Help in giving-up smoking be provided on an individual or group basis, including making nicotine patches and so on available at cost price;
- Space should be found for those who wish to smoke
These are only possibilities, and any other proposals that staff and students may wish to put forward will be welcomed. The University will also be consulting campus unions.
Views and suggestions should be sent by e-mail to: email@example.com. Anyone wishing to contribute publicly should copy their message to the Reporter by mail or at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments on paper may also be sent to Keiron Broadhead at Human Resources.
The deadline for comments is Thursday 7 May. All responses will be considered by a group, chaired by Professor Joyce Hill, which will draft proposals for Senates June meeting.
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