In an effort to create a healthy environment for all members of the campus community, Bilkent University has initiated a Smoke-Free Campus Policy, according to a joint decision of the University Senate and the University Executive Board dated April 25, 2018.
Effective September 1, 2022, the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, will be prohibited throughout the entire campus, including all outdoor spaces as well as indoor areas.
This move is in keeping with a general trend worldwide, starting in the 1970s, to ban smoking from university campuses. Initial restrictions in closed areas were followed by the extension of smoke-free zones to open public spaces. In the US, smoke-free campuses were introduced in the early 2000s; currently, 2,164 universities declare their campuses to be smoke free. These include UCLA, the Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania and the SUNY campuses. Many universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand also ban smoking throughout their entire campuses.
In the intervening period before the campus-wide ban takes place at Bilkent, areas where smoking is permitted will gradually be phased out. A committee has been established to implement the policy, set the schedule for phasing out smoking areas, propose enforcement measures and develop a community-wide communication strategy. Vice Rector for Student Affairs Orhan Aytür, Dean of the Faculty of Science Tayfun Özçelik, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration Emre Berk, Dean of Students Kamer Rodoplu, Health Center Manager Mete Aker and Student Council President Çağkan Erdoğan have been selected as committee members.