Banned from this Rennes campus, the cigarette has fewer and fewer followers

Banned from this Rennes campus, the cigarette has fewer and fewer followers

2023-05-31 18:29:50

It’s been five years since she quit. And at no time did she think of going back. Since quitting smoking, she feels she smells better, looks cleaner and looks better. She is the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health (EHESP) in Rennes, first establishment of higher education in France to ban tobaccoin 2018. Five years after banishing cigarettes from its campus, the school organized a festive event this Wednesday as part of world no tobacco day. The opportunity to celebrate a bold choice, which today does not suffer from any challenge or questioning. “We were told the campus was smoke-free on the first day. My first reaction was to tell myself that it sucked…”, admits this student. Cigarette in hand, he willingly complies with the ban on smoking on campus and goes to one of the five dedicated spaces every day. “It allowed me to reduce my consumption. Sometimes I manage to do without it because I’m too lazy to move. »

Cathy Gauvin, addictologist nurse at the Saint-Laurent clinic, comes to the school every Monday for free consultations. “By banning tobacco, we allow everyone to think about their way of smoking, to have an outside view of their consumption. One can wonder if this cigarette is useful, ”explains the health professional. For her, “the fewer smokers you see around you, the less you want to smoke”.

“I think it allowed me to decrease”

And the finding is striking. On the campus located in the Villejean district, you only come across a few smokers, confined to spaces located far from the buildings. Stigmatizing? “That’s the impression I had at the start, especially because there weren’t many of us, testifies a member of staff, electronic cigarette in hand. But it was accepted very quickly. I even think that it played on my consumption, that it allowed me to reduce. »

In one of the shelters, we cross paths with a “student director”. Like many students enrolled here, she is preparing to run a health facility. “It clearly allowed me to reduce, especially since I live on campus,” she says. Normally, she would have smoked “5 to 6 cigarettes” in the evening after class. With the ban, she allows herself “one after eating”. Other cross-smokers on campus believe that the ban “didn’t change anything” for them, but applaud the initiative.

Five years after its implementation, this choice by the school to ban tobacco from its interior and exterior spaces is unanimously welcomed. “It makes the campus more pleasant. Before, we had smokers at each entrance to the school, it was not very pleasant to pass in a cloud, ”says a student from the EHESP. During their lunch break, staff members agree: “In the morning, it can make you nauseous. You sometimes had the smells that rose through the window, it was not pleasant. Another visible benefit of this rule: cleanliness. “You don’t see a single cigarette butt on the ground. It helps keep the campus clean,” said a group of students.

“Let the school be exemplary”

The establishment training future directors of health establishments is banking on this singularity and hopes to plant the idea in a corner of the minds of its students. “At the time, the director wanted the school to be exemplary. He wanted to make them want to reproduce the same scheme in their establishment of tomorrow,” explains Marion Ganivet, the school’s assistant HRD. Before banning cigarettes, the school had created a working group and surveyed its students and staff to find out how it felt. “From the start, the acceptability was already strong. Today, it has become a habit. And when you go to another campus, you quickly see the difference, ”continues the assistant HRD. On the other side of the road, tobacco has not been banned from the Villejean campus occupied by the universities of Rennes-1 and Rennes-2. And the contrast is stark.

In Rennes, the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health was the first higher education establishment to ban tobacco on its campus, in 2018. – C. Allain / 20 Minutes

After a study published this Wednesday by Public Health France, our country has 12 million smokers, or more than 30% of the population aged 18 to 75. After years of decline, the figure is now stable, probably due to the Covid-19 crisis and the stress it has caused. Among daily smokers, 59.3% say they want to quit.

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