Few breaches of smoke-free rule

The University of Otago's smoke-free policy has been introduced without a hitch.

Co-chairwoman of the university's smoke-free campus implementation working group Prof Janet Hoek said few people had been caught flouting the smoke-free campus rule since it was introduced on New Year's Day.

''My impression and the impression of people I have talked to is that there is virtually no smoking at all on campus,'' Prof Hoek said.

At a smoke-free meeting held at the end of Orientation Week, Campus Watch reported there had been nine incidents where they had ''talked to people'' seen smoking on campus.

''When you think that there are 20,000 people on the campus, and about 5% of those are smokers, then to have an incidence rate where you are only talking to nine people, that's a fantastically high level of compliance.''

There had been no backlash against the policy from smokers.

''Smokers are acutely aware that smoking is not a socially acceptable behaviour - many people dislike being around smoke or being exposed to second-hand smoke.

''Many [smokers] were already trying to smoke in remote locations where they didn't think it would bother other people, so I don't think smokers are a second-rate species who want to irritate those around them.''


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