Gone will be the days when the smell of cigarettes wafts into your classroom or disrupts your lunchbreak. In an attempt to lead the way by example, all Griffith campuses will be no smoking starting from the 31st of May. While some people may be displeased by such changes to university life, the positive effect this will have on students, staff, visitors, and the environment at large is undeniable.

So, why exactly is this happening and what does it all mean?

In recent years, the government has placed special emphasis on a healthier, more sustainable future both for us and for the environment surrounding us. There is clear evidence to show that smoke-free environments increase the rate of quitting and reduce the number of people taking up smoking – an outcome that would have only positive influences in the long run. In general, the changes implemented follow along the rights of non-smokers to breathe clean air that is not contaminated by carcinogens and other harmful substances in tobacco smoke.

While primary and secondary institutions have banned smoking years ago, most universities have still catered to smokers’ needs – up until now. Since the end of last year, the Queensland Government has been working with all higher education institutions across the state to reduce the use of tobacco and related products on campuses. The goal, as we will see across all universities, is to transition to smoke-free campuses by the end of 2018.

Following in the footsteps of Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Catholic University, Griffith University aims to provide a safe and healthy environment for all staff and students, and is proud to lead by example in the enactment of positive change in Queensland and across Australia.

This means that as of 31 May, no smoking of tobacco or herbs (including electronic cigarettes) will be permitted anywhere on-campus. This transition may be difficult for some, so for those wishing to quit, Griffith offer a free cessation program for as long as needed. To find out more about the support available, head to www.griffith.edu.au/no-smoking.

A smoke-free campus aligns with Griffith’s responsibility to provide a healthy space for staff and students alike, and it reflects the need for such societal changes. In order to leave behind a liveable world for generations to come, we must act today. Through the no smoking initiative, Griffith University hopes to aid quitting and advocate for a better future for smokers and non-smokers alike.