Victorian universities – including RMIT – have won an award for transforming campuses into smoke-free zones.
The 2014 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Award for preventing tobacco use was presented to the Victorian University Tobacco-Free working group at VicHealth’s annual health promotion awards ceremony in Melbourne.
Among the guests were former Minister of Health, David Davis, Neil Angus MP, VicHealth Chair Professor John Catford and members of the Board, and VicHealth staff led by CEO Jerril Rechter.
“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists for their hard work and dedication to health promotion. I look forward to seeing the positive impact these projects have on Victorians,” Ms Rechter said.
As part of the state-wide university initiative, RMIT’s three campuses went smoke-free last year on World No Tobacco Day, 31 May.
Dean of Students, Professor Owen Hughes, said: “While some staff and students have quit smoking altogether, others have respected the policy by not smoking on campus.
“I’m told the number of butts littered on campus has dropped by 90 per cent, which is a great indication of how people have responded.
“RMIT will continue to spread the message in 2015 that smoking is a health hazard and that the University is strongly committed to providing a healthy and safe environment.”
The RMIT initiative was driven by Property Services, Students Group, Human Resources and Marketing, with support from student ambassadors.
The other universities involved in the working group were Deakin, Australian Catholic University, Federation University, La Trobe, Melbourne University, Monash University, Victoria University and Swinburne.