ecostory 23-2004 - UniGE sans fumée - d |  f  | e
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University of Geneva becoming smokefree

A new rector, Dr. Hurst,

The Rector, Dr. Hurst, at the reception in Uni Dufour on Dies Academicus 4 June 2004
had the courage to change tobacco smoke policies at the University of Geneva.

For many years smoking has been tolerated virtually everywhere, despite regulations. Students are throwing ashes and cigarette buts simply around them on the floor inside the buildings - an absolute disgraceful and piglike behaviour for people that are supposed to be the educated elite of our society. See the pictures taken at the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2004.

This is now going to change. From 18 October 2004 all buildings of the University will become smokefree. It is to be hoped that transgressions will be dealt with in a suitable manner.

Apparently some of the teaching staff have said that they will continue to smoke in their offices, thus breaking the rules, setting the wrong societal example and denying the others their legal right to work in a smokefree environment.

So far so good. The next problem to deal with is smoking outside of the buildings. Smokers will dramatically increase the littering around the buildings and in the adjacent parks. The rectorate of the University will have to face that issue and find a solution.

Many people think that environmental smoke outside of buildings is harmless and does not disturb. This however is absolutely wrong. Tobacco smoke is always spreading around more or less horizontally with the prevailing winds and air currents. Therefore smoking outside does indeed harm others and must be restricted. We will revert to this subject. For now we are very happy that at least the buildings are becoming smokefree and we want to thank Dr. Hurst and the rectorate for their courage.

Helmut Lubbers

Information par le recteur de l'Université,, le dr. André Hurst
article de M. Jacques Erard du service de presse de l'Université

  • Pictures taken at the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2004.

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