Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Smoking at Otago research

Research into smoking at Otago

Researchers in the University's Department of Preventive and Social Medicine recently undertook a survey estimating smoking prevalence among staff and students as well as levels of support for a smoke-free Dunedin campus.

The survey found that around 80% of staff and students supported a smoke-free campus.

The findings have been published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. The abstract appears below.

Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 02-May-2014, Vol 127 No 1393

Attitudes towards smokefree campus policies in New Zealand

Louise Marsh, Lindsay A Robertson, Claire Cameron

Aim This study examines the level of support for a completely smokefree campus policy and other smokefree policy initiatives amongst staff and students at a New Zealand University.

Methods Attitudes to smoking on campus, smokefree campus policies, implementation and enforcement of smokefree policies were assessed using an online survey of 332 staff and 268 students; giving a response rate of 51% from staff and 41% from students.

Results Most participants had never smoked, or were past smokers; few reported being current smokers. Participants agreed that exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful, disliked being exposed to second-hand smoke on campus, and felt the university should promote a healthy work and study environment. Results indicated strong support for smokefree policies, and participants made several recommendations regarding smokefree policies. Most disagreed that compliance with a smokefree policy should be voluntary, but felt that campus security should warn people who breach the policy.

Conclusions These results provide a sound basis for university administrators to implement smokefree policies. While around half of the tertiary education institutions in New Zealand already have a completely smokefree campus policy, greater adoption of this policy by tertiary education institutions would foster realisation of the government’s goal that New Zealand become a smokefree nation by 2025.

A potential barrier preventing tertiary education institutions working towards a smokefree campus is a perceived risk of opposition from staff and students. Our study found strong support for smokefree campus policies; these findings should encourage other universities, polytechnics and other tertiary education providers to adopt full campus smokefree policies.

Full article