logo smoke-free campusA committee steering the University’s move to become a smoke-free campus invites students and employees to help shape the policy and strategies for its implementation.

UWindsor community invited to shape the Smoke-Free Campus Policy and implementation activities

This fall the University of Windsor will join a growing number of post-secondary institutions that have recently become smoke-free. According to a report released by the Canadian Cancer Society (2018), more than 65 Canadian universities and colleges have become 100% smoke-free. Becoming a smoke-free campus (tobacco, cannabis and vaping) is part of the University’s ongoing efforts to foster a healthy and safe environment for all.

Smoking remains the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in Canada. Scientific evidence has firmly established that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke (World Health Organization, 2007). For non-smokers, exposure to second-hand smoke can increase the risk of developing heart conditions, lung cancer, respiratory illnesses and premature death (Health Canada). Not only will making UWindsor a smoke-free campus protect students, faculty, staff and visitors from the harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke, but it may also discourage individuals from starting to smoke, as well as provide a motivation for smokers to quit.

The University understands that the move to become a smoke-free campus will be a significant change for some students, staff and faculty. To plan and prepare for this change, the University has established a Steering Committee chaired by Rita LaCivita, Vice-President, Human Resources with representation from students, staff, faculty and subject-matter experts. “The committee will provide strategic direction and leadership to the development of the Smoke-Free Campus Policy and its associated Education, Awareness Raising, Smoking Cessation Support and Policy Enforcement strategies,” says Rita LaCivita. “Our goal during the transition is to inform, build awareness, enhance understanding and work together to create a healthier campus for all”, LaCivita adds.

Engagement of the campus community, both smokers and non-smokers, is critical to shape the Smoke-Free Campus Policy, and its associated implementation strategies. Working groups are being established to provide guidance. Students, staff and faculty are invited to sign on by completing the online interest form by March 20.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their thoughts:

Find more information about these conversation opportunities and joining a working group, on the Smoke-Free Campus Fall 2020 website.

—Marcela Ciampa