The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia officially declared the University smoke-free throughout its campuses yesterday and unveiled a smoke-free signage at Laucala Campus.
From 4 January, 2021 all campuses and rented facilities where USP business is undertaken will be smoke-free zones, except for staff residences on campus.
Professor Ahluwalia said to ensure the success of this initiative, a collective effort from students and staff is needed. He added that given the health and financial benefits of quitting smoking, he is hopeful that everyone will support and ensure the University is smoke-free. USP’s Senior Management Team had unanimously agreed to a smoke-free university late last year.
USP’s Head of Health, Safety and Environment Unit, Dr Roman Chute said the aim of the project is to protect the health of its staff and students and preserve the environment.
“It is well-documented that cigarette smoking is a significant contributor to most non-communicable diseases causing fatalities within Pacific island communities,”
“This is also a great step forward to align the University with legislation pertaining to the Tobacco Control Act in Fiji and in other regional countries,” Dr Chute added.
Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical services also strongly promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage people to stop smoking to reduce one’s risk of cancer.
USP Campus Security will enforce this decision and any violation carries a fine of $50 (in the local equivalent currency).