Frequently asked questions
What is the Smoke-Free 2016 Project?
Wodonga TAFE implemented a smoke-free policy from 01 January 2016, with smoking not permitted on any Wodonga TAFE or DECA campus or site from this date onward. This includes:
- all buildings
- all outdoor areas in and around campus buildings/residences
- anywhere inside the boundary of a WIOT or DECA site
- all Wodonga TAFE and DECA owned/leased vehicles.
*Note: This does not apply to Puckapunyal/Latchford Army Base as these sites are not controlled by Wodonga Institute of TAFE.
How was this communicated?
The implementation of a smoke-free organisation was communicated via a number of mediums.
- Student Central
- StaffNet (intranet)
Why we decided to go smoke-free?
To create a healthy, safe and positive environment for everyone. The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors is important to us. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. We are proud to be taking proactive steps towards ensuring a healthy, smoke-free environment.
Protection from exposure to second-hand smoke. Passive smoking is the breathing in of smoke that comes off the end of a burning cigarette or the smoke that is exhaled into the atmosphere by a smoker. This smoke is referred to as second-hand smoke, passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke. The health effects of passive smoking are now well documented. Long-term exposure to second-hand smoke can cause heart disease and lung cancer. Exposure to second-hand smoke can trigger asthma attacks in adults and cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks in children.
Is second-hand smoke really harmful?
There is conclusive medical evidence that second-hand smoke causes serious diseases and harm to others, including non-smokers. The Department of Health (Victoria) states that exposure to second-hand smoke has been found to increase the risk of heart disease by 50 to 60 percent and can also increase the risk of nose and sinus cancer. In addition, second-hand smoke puts individuals with cystic fibrosis at risk for severe lung infections.
How is the new policy enforced?
Smokers are respectfully informed about the smoke-free policy and advised that smoking is not permitted on any campus or site. Repeated offences may result in disciplinary action in line with relevant Institute procedures.
Are any other TAFEs smoke free?
Yes, most other TAFES have already taken this step.
As a smoker, are there designated areas where I can smoke?
No. All campuses/sites will be completely smoke-free, there will be no designated smoking areas anywhere on any campus or site.*
Does the smoke-free policy extend to residential areas?
Yes, the smoke-free policy does extend to residential and housing properties, including decks and balcony areas, and does apply at all times of the day. This is to ensure we can provide a positive, healthy and smoke-free environment for all students.
Does the smoke-free policy extend to visitors?
Yes, the smoke-free policy does extend to anyone on TAFE property, including visitors. We realise that visitors may not be aware of our smoke-free policy, therefore after 1 Jan 2016, we encourage people to take an informative and helpful approach in advising visitors about the smoke-free policy.
Is the use of e-cigarettes permitted?
No. The Department of Health's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) does not consider e-cigarettes to be a safe nicotine delivery system or smoking cessation strategy. Therefore their use is prohibited on our property for the purposes of this policy.
I'm a smoker, what about my rights?
Smokers may still smoke, but not on TAFE/DECA campuses/sites* where their smoke may cause harm or discomfort to others. Everyone has the right to breathe clean air and enjoy a healthy environment, free from the harmful substances found in cigarette smoke.
Can Wodonga TAFE really ban the use of cigarettes, given they are a legal product?
Wodonga TAFE is not banning the use of cigarettes but prohibiting smoking on our property. Providing a smoke-free environment ensures we can all enjoy a positive, healthy and safe environment, without the negative impact of cigarette smoke.
As a manager, how do I manage the time lost from the workplace by staff who go for a smoke during normal working hours?
If a manager finds that a staff member is spending too much time away from their work, over and above their normal lunch hour, they should counsel them appropriately, whether they are going for a smoke, coffee, or chatting to colleagues, etc. It is the individual's choice to smoke and they have to manage this appropriately, in accordance with policy, so it does not impact on their work.
Want to know more about electronic cigarettes?
An extract from a Department of Health, Victoria, document states:
'On 1 January 2009, legislative changes came in to effect to prohibit electronic cigarettes and their cartridges containing nicotine in Victoria. The decision was made on the basis that nicotine for human use is a dangerous poison and electronic cigarettes have not been assessed for safety, quality or efficacy.
In Victoria it is illegal to manufacture, sell, supply, purchase or otherwise obtain, possess or use an electronic cigarette or cartridge containing nicotine.
The prohibition applies to electronic cigarettes obtained from anywhere within Australia as well as overseas, whether over the internet or by other means.'
The Australian medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) does not support the use of electronic cigarettes. Information on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website states, 'Electronic cigarettes have not been evaluated for quality, safety or performance by the TGA.'
Below are links to sites that will provide information to assist those who may be considering quitting smoking.
If your question has not been addressed in these FAQs, email your query to HR@wodongatafe.edu.au