The health science faculty is on a mission to clear the air.

The Wits University faculty of health sciences has introduced a no smoking policy on its Parktown from Tuesday, March 3. The campus aims to eradicate all designated smoking areas by August 31 this year.

“Ash trays will be removed and they [Wits protection services] are going to put ropes to show the demarcation of the smoking areas,” said Antonia Appel, a communications officer for the faculty.

Appel told Wits Vuvuzela that the policy is only being implemented on the health science faculty and is not a university-wide policy. “If we can do it effectively then other faculties can maybe apply it for themselves. But it’s not university policy to be completely smoke-free.”

“Come 31st of August, no smoking zones whatsoever, you’ll have to smoke in the streets [off campus],” Appel said, adding that Campus Protections Services will monitor and enforce the policy.

Professor Martin Veller, the Dean of the health sciences faculty, told Wits Vuvuzela that “non-adherence to the policy will be managed through well-established university based policies”.

The faculty has established this policy to align itself with its mandate of practicing good health and leading by example.

A final-year medicine student, who asked to remain anonymous, said that “they (the faculty) can’t stop us individually from smoking, but they can actually limit where we smoke”.

Enhle Sangweni, a second-year physiology student said, “I don’t think the policy is necessary because smokers should have their choice to smoke”.

“If you are a non-smoker then move away from the designated smoking areas,” she said.

Wits university prohibits smoking on all its campuses but still have designated smoking areas. 

FEATURED IMAGE: The policy aims to have all designated smoking zones reduced by August, 31 at the faculty of health sciences. Photo: Palesa Mofokeng.