There are no ifs, whys, or butts about Harvard Kennedy School’s new smoke-free policy.
As of March 1, the entire HKS campus is smoke-free, meaning that smoking is prohibited inside any campus building or outside on HKS grounds, including the courtyard, and within 25 feet of building entrances, outdoor air intakes and windows.
“We make this move to promote good health and to reduce any impacts from smoke upon our staff, faculty and students,” wrote Executive Dean John Haigh in an email to all Kennedy School faculty and staff. “While we admit that the policy may cause some inconvenience for smokers, we feel that this is outweighed by the positive benefits of a smoke-free campus for all of the people who work, study at and visit our facilities.”
It’s been almost 20 years since policies prohibiting indoor smoking were first implemented at Harvard University. Although controversial at the time, non-smoking policies quickly proliferated after the Cambridge City Council passed a strict ordinance banning smoking in all indoor public spaces and workplaces. Two years ago the entire Longwood Campus – covering Harvard Medical School, the School of Public Health, and the School of Dental Medicine –became the first at Harvard to go entirely smoke free –both inside and out. More recently the Business School banned smoking on campus and now HKS is doing the same.
The new policy was recommended by a Smoking Task Force – consisting of HKS faculty, staff members, and students – which convened in October of last year.