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In the two weeks since the Smoke-Free Campus Policy came into effect on Sept. 1, the focus has been on raising awareness and public education,Smoke-Free Campus initiative aims to create safer and healthier environment

Breathe easy: campus making smooth transition to smoke-free

In the two weeks since the Smoke-Free Campus Policy came into effect on Sept. 1, the focus has been on raising awareness and public education, says Marcela Ciampa, director of organizational development and training in the Department of Human Resources.

“The aim of our policy is to create a safer and healthier environment for working and learning,” she says. “These policies are proven to contribute to building a healthy community by reducing smoking and vaping prevalence and the adverse effects of second-hand smoke, vaping, and tobacco use.”

She says education is key as the campus community adjusts to the smoke-free policy. Signage has been posted around the campus and communication sent to faculty, staff, and students, but still, she says, not all may be aware what it means to be smoke-free.

“If you observe someone smoking or vaping on campus, we encourage you to approach the individual respectfully and politely. The SMOKE acronym, adapted from Mc Master University, can help you navigate these difficult conversations,” she says.

S – Smile and introduce yourself as you approach (but remember to physically distance)

M – Make the assumption that the person isn’t aware of the change.

O – Offer information about the policy.

K – Kindly and respectfully ask the person to stop smoking or vaping and point to the nearest location where they can smoke.

E – Encourage them to visit the Smoke-Free Campus website for information and supports.

The Smoke-Free Campus signs have a QR code that can easily connect anyone to information, resources, and supports including a map showing the areas where smoking is not permitted, Ciampa says. The campus community can send suggestions for areas where signage should be added or monitoring increased to smokefreecampus@uwindsor.ca.