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AUC Awarded Best Free-Smoke University in the Region

AUC Wins First Place As The Best Smoke-Free University In The Region

January 22, 2024, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) has recently won first place as the Best Smoke-Free University in the Arab Anti-Smoking Award’s inaugural edition, organized by the Arab Union for Humanities and Development (AUHD).  The award is a recognition given to universities that have implemented effective campus policies and initiatives to create smoke-free environments. AUHD, a reputable educational and training institution specializing in studies, scientific publications, consultations, and scientific meetings related to humanities and sustainable development, aims to honor excellence in promoting healthier lifestyles. “This prestigious recognition signifies our University's exceptional efforts and commitment to promoting a tobacco-free environment and fostering a culture of health and well-being among our students, faculty, and staff,” said Hussam Aldine Hassan, chief Safety and Quality Management Officer at AUC. Hassan emphasized that the award serves as a testament to AUC's commitment to public health and highlights its leadership in combating the harmful effects of smoking. “This acknowledgment also sets a powerful example for other regional universities to follow, inspiring them to prioritize the health and well-being of their communities,” he noted. 

AUHD assessed multiple criteria to determine the deserving recipient, including the effectiveness of the smoke-free policies, the thoroughness of implementation and enforcement, the scope of awareness campaigns and educational programs, the active engagement of the university community and the overall positive impact on the health and well-being of individuals on campus. “AUC's outstanding performance in these domains played a crucial role in securing its position as the recipient of the Best Smoke-Free University Award,” Hassan said.  He added that AUC was competing with other regional universities, but it emerged as the winner owing to its outstanding accomplishment in successfully implementing smoke-free policies and cultivating a campus culture that prioritizes the well-being and health of its community. 

“In our presentation, we showcased the comprehensive array of smoke-free policies and initiatives that have been implemented on campus. We also emphasized the positive impact of these measures, including improved air quality, reduced health risks, and increased awareness about the dangers of smoking,” explained Hassan. He also highlighted the collaborative efforts of the various stakeholders, students, faculty, staff and administration, in implementing and sustaining a smoke-free environment. 

In 2018, AUC launched the Tobacco-Free AUC Initiative to create a completely smoke-free and tobacco-free environment across both AUC campuses, New Cairo and Tahrir. As part of this effort, designated smoking areas were established around and/or within the parking lots, effectively restricting smoking and tobacco use on campus. AUC further demonstrated its commitment to promoting a smoke-free environment by establishing the University's Smoking Cessation Clinic. The clinic not only provided guidance and medication to AUCians looking to quit smoking but also organized workshops and sessions to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of smoking. To bolster these efforts, the University Health Advisory Committee was formed. This committee played a pivotal role in promoting healthy habits throughout the University community, offering fitness programs, nutrition advice, and guidance on improving sleep habits. Additionally, the committee collaborated closely with the clinic to disseminate information and encourage individuals to refrain from smoking and pursue a smoke-free lifestyle.

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Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs. 

The University offers 39 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world. 

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.