Nipping out for a quick cigarette in between classes? Not anymore. Or at least not on campus grounds. Tilburg University is introducing a total smoking ban, going into effect this summer.
At the start of the new academic year, smoking will be prohibited on all university premises, including outdoor areas. E-cigarettes will also be banned.
The designated smoking area signs and ashtray tiles that are currently scattered around the campus will be removed. Instead, the university is installing “smoke-free” street tiles in an effort to cement the new policy into the minds of students, staff members and visitors.
During the first year after the introduction of the smoking ban, extra security staff will be present on campus to enforce the new rules. First offenders who get caught with a cigarette will be given a warning, but subsequent violations of the smoking ban may result in disciplinary action.
In addition, the university will actively encourage students and staff to quit smoking, for example by promoting the health benefits of the new policy and by reimbursing the costs of smoking cessation treatment for personnel.
Students and staff members who continue to smoke will have to step off campus property for their cigarette breaks. However, smokers won’t have to look very far to find an off-campus spot where they can freely light a cigarette.
Since public spaces such as roads and sidewalks are not part of the university’s premises, smokers cannot be banned from neighboring residential areas, for example, or from the zebra crossing located in the heart of the campus at the busy junction with the Hogeschoollaan and the Professor Verbernelaan.
Because it remains to be seen how the smoking ban will affect the area surrounding the Tilburg University campus, the university keeps contact with local residents, public housing organizations and the municipality. The main points of attention concern cigarette litter and smoking-related air pollution. But one thing is clear: the smoking ban will come into force as of mid-August 2019.
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