Following the extensive work conducted by the Smoke-Free Campus steering committee and its working groups, the University of Windsor is set to launch its Smoke-Free Campus policy Sept. 1.
Windsor will join a large number of Canadian post-secondary institutions that in recent years have become 100 per cent smoke free, a move that aligns with the University’s efforts to foster a safe learning and working environment for all.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our campus community,” says Rita LaCivita, vice-president, human resources.
“We’ve all seen the research about the health impacts of smoking and second-hand smoke, so this move to a smoke-free campus is a very important next step in both encouraging and supporting healthy lifestyle choices among members of our campus community.”
Marcela Ciampa, Human Resources’ director of organizational development and training and chair of the Smoke-Free Campus steering committee, says smoke-free campus policies contribute to building a healthy community.
“They have shown to significantly decrease daily cigarette consumption and smoking prevalence among individuals working, studying, and living on campuses,” she says. “A smoke-free campus also protects future generations by reducing social exposure to smoking and vaping and the visual cues that are key to preventing individuals from starting to smoke.”
LaCivita credits the work of the Smoke-Free Campus steering committee and the working groups for the development of the policy and associated implementation strategies, as well as the members of the campus community who responded to a request for input in 2020 and policy feedback earlier this summer.
“The Smoke-Free Campus initiative would not have been possible without the dedication and contributions of the students, staff, and faculty who supported its development,” she says.
Ciampa says that the move to an entirely smoke-free campus is a significant change which may be difficult for some individuals: “Our goal is to adopt a supportive awareness raising and education approach during implementation, providing supports to individuals who choose to quit smoking as well as those who may need help to adapt to the change.”
The Smoke-Free Campus policy outlines various exemptions including the burning of traditional and sacred medicines that are part of Indigenous cultural and spiritual practices.
The university community is encouraged to visit uwindsor.ca/smokefree campus to become familiar with the Smoke-Free Campus policy and FAQs, the Smoke-Free Campus map, resources and supports, and a guide for supervisors.