If you are going to the University of Regina to take classes, do business or anything else after August 1, you can forget about lighting up a cigarette or smoking anything as the facility will be going smoke-free.
The U of R says this is a continuation of efforts to have people at the university whether they be a student, staff or a visitor are in a safe, healthy and clean environment.
Darren Cherwaty is the U of R’s director of health, safety and wellness. He said this adds the university to a long list of post-secondary institutions in North America going smoke-free.
“We’re joining 23 other colleges and universities across Canada, and over 2,000 in the U.S. in becoming smoke free.”
The policy also means the advertising or sale of tobacco products on campus will be prohibited and the growing of cannabis will not be allowed in any of the residences.
Cherwaty said this includes the use of e-cigarettes.
“Health Canada still hasn’t approved vaping, and it’s still under study, so we don’t know what the second-hand affects from vaping are, so at this point until the research is in, we continue to look at it just like second-hand tobacco smoke.”
Cherwaty said this is something they have been working on, and will allow the University community to have a safe, healthy environment to work in.
“We certainly recognize and understand the hazards posed by second-hand smoke and tobacco use, so this is just the finalization of that plan and the implementation of the smoke free environment.”
The policy will allow tobacco to be burned on campus in accordance with smudging/pipe ceremonies in accordance with current policy.
Meanwhile, Donna Pasiechnik with the Canadian Cancer Society said she believes the University of Regina is doing the right thing by banning all types of smoking throughout campus.
“We have advocated for this measure provincially for a number of years. We’re thrilled that the U of R has shown such leadership and we’re hoping that the rest of the province will follow.”
According to Pasiechnik, students and adult aged 20-24 make up for the highest demographic for smokers in Saskatchewan.