Japanese universities do not recruit professors to smoke

The new policy under the “Non-Smoking Roadmap”, enacted by Nagasaki University last November, is aimed at banning the introduction of cigarettes or lighters into the school.

On April 19, Nagasaki University (Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan) announced that it would not recruit smokers to all teaching positions, including visiting professors. This is seen as the pioneer move by the public school in the fight against tobacco.

However, university leaders say the rule will be flexibly applied, possibly exempting candidates who commit to quit after being admitted to the school.

Hiệu trưởng Đại học Nagasaki, Shigeru Kono, tuyên bố chính sách không tuyển người hút thuốc tại buổi họp báo ngày 19/4 ở Nagasaki. Ảnh: Rui Morimoto

The Rector of Nagasaki University, Shigeru Kono, announced the policy of not recruiting smokers at the April 19 press conference in Nagasaki. Photo: Rui Morimoto

The new Nagasaki University policy reflects the trend of smoking ban in all public spaces in Japan, including restaurants and bars, as Tokyo is about to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“The mission of the university is to nurture the human resources. We feel we need to encourage people to say no to tobacco, as some companies have started to introduce no smoking rules,” said Shigeru Kono, shared university rectors.

An official from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare admitted “had never heard of a similar policy being applied at a public university”.

The above policy belongs to the university’s “Non-Smoking Roadmap” issued last November, which plans to gradually eliminate 10 smoking areas on campus.

From next August, the ban on smoking by faculty members and all other staff at the school will take effect. By April of the following year, no one, including students, was allowed to bring cigarettes or lighters into the school.

Currently, the number of smokers accounts for 8% of the staff of Nagasaki University. A psychiatric specialist will be invited to school in May to advise people who have difficulty quitting smoking.

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