When you want to grab a cigarette at CBS, you can smoke anywhere, as long as you are outside and a minimum of five meters from the façade. In December, that will change.
Senior Management and Campus Services have agreed to introduce designated smoking areas outlined in yellow with yellow ashtrays. Solbjerg Plads will be first to get smoking areas and ashtrays, explains René Steffensen, Head of Campus Services.
“We had six different scenarios up for discussion, and this is the model the Senior Management all agree on. I think it’s a good model that addresses some of the issues we have with people smoking too close to the façade, which annoys employees,” he says and continues:
“However, the challenge is to make people keep to the smoking areas, especially the students.”
When the ashtrays and areas have been established, Campus Services will run a campaign at semester start in February to inform people about the new designated smoking areas. The maintenance crew will also join in by urging people to respect the smoking areas, but there won’t be actual smoke police, says René Steffensen.
“We won’t have smoke police putting students in leg locks for smoking outside the designated smoking areas. We have a more pragmatic and friendly approach to this,” he says and adds:
“But I hope and expect the various department managers will do what they can to tell their employees where they can smoke.”
According to the Danish Cancer Society, 32 percent of young adults aged between 20 and 24 smoke on a daily basis or occasionally, and that figure has been rising since 2013. Doesn’t CBS have a responsibility to encourage students to stop smoking?
“Of course, and that’s why we are introducing the designated smoking areas. I believe we will see a further shift in how smoking is viewed, and this will help us progress up the ladder towards a smoke-free university,” says René Steffensen, drawing a parallel to views on alcohol concerning staff.
“Back in the day, it was okay to have a bitter at birthdays or a beer for lunch during working hours. Today, drinking alcohol is allowed at special events, and if you otherwise drink during working hours, specific sanctions apply. Maybe we’ll see the same for smoking in some years,” he says.
Smoke-free Copenhagen 2025
Back in 2013, CBS signed a charter issued by Copenhagen Municipality which declared the aim that by 2025, only four percent of those living in the Greater Copenhagen area would smoke.
And to support this goal, CBS began discussing its smoking policy. At first, voluntary smoking areas were introduced, but according to René Steffensen they are not used much. So, in order to make the designated smoking areas a greater success, the Working Environment Committee consulted Pelle Guldborg Hansen, Associate Professor at Roskilde University and an expert in nudging.
“Pelle Guldborg Hansen advised Copenhagen Airport on its smoking policy with success, but it’s a different matter at CBS. Here, smoking is a social event, so for it to work, we must facilitate the social aspect, which means highlighting shelter in winter and benches in summer,” he says.