University of Melbourne to go tobacco free

6 January 2014

The University of Melbourne will go tobacco free on all campuses from World Cancer Day on February 4, 2014 to provide a healthier environment for staff, students and visitors.

The university currently prohibits smoking inside all its buildings and vehicles and within six metres of entrances and doorways, but smoking is allowed in its open spaces.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the move was a natural progression of the university’s commitment to healthy campuses.

“The university is committed to helping improve the health and well-being of our staff and students,” he said. “This is a step towards further encouraging our community to take action against the harmful effects of smoking. It also aims to minimize the harmful impact of second hand smoke to others across the campus.”

The move will include support programs for those seeking to quit smoking and aims to further promote health and well-being for all staff, students and visitors to the University of Melbourne.

University of Melbourne Public Health expert Professor Rob Moodie said the university was an internationally recognized leader in health research, education and training, and policy and practice, and should match its best practice education and research with best practice policy.

“Over forty percent of deaths from tobacco are due to cancer. Young people—who comprise much of the undergraduate population—who are exposed to tobacco smoke, carry the health harms of involuntary smoke much longer,” he said, adding that the University of Melbourne’s younger students are most susceptible to developing potentially harmful smoking habits.

The change means smoking on University of Melbourne grounds will be prohibited and no campus businesses will be able to sell cigarettes.

This step is in keeping with moves by the national Australian universities education sector to go tobacco free with the support of QUIT and VicHealth. It is also in line with discussions with partners across the Parkville precinct to establish a tobacco-free precinct.

The university will phase out smoking across its campuses from February 4, 2014, with a view to requiring full compliance from the beginning of 2015.

University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health aims to strengthen the understanding, capacity and services of society to meet population health needs and to improve the quality and equity of health care.

The population health approach recognizes that health is a capacity or resource rather than a state, a definition which corresponds more to the notion of being able to pursue one’s goals, to acquire skills and education, and to grow.

This broader notion of health recognizes the range of social, economic and physical environmental factors that contribute to health (Public Health Agency of Canada).

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February & July
Duration: 2 years

Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline for this public health program, applicants are strongly encouraged by the University of Melbourne to submit their applications a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.