June 17, 2019
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University will become smoke free at all its campuses and properties in an effort to support the health, wellness and safety of the university community and its visitors. The smoke-free policy, which was approved by the university’s Board of Governors June 6, will take effect July 1, 2019.
The policy prohibits the smoking of tobacco and cannabis by all methods, and prohibits vaping of all substances in any form, including the use of vaporizer and inhalant devices such as vape pens and e-cigarettes.
“There are proven health benefits that arise from living, working and studying in a smoke-free environment,” said Tony Araujo, acting vice-president: finance and administration. “Laurier is joining a large number of Canadian post-secondary institutions in enhancing the health of our communities through smoke-free policies.”
The university respects the sacred role of tobacco and other traditional medicines in Indigenous spiritual and cultural practices; approved religious and cultural exemptions will be made available under the policy.
The smoke-free policy, which was developed by a working group following research and consultations with faculty and staff committees and student associations, complements the university’s existing policies, such as the fitness for work policy and the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct.
“As the fall term approaches, we will be hosting educational workshops and other activities to help the Laurier community become familiar with the new policy and how to comply with it,” said Araujo. “We will focus on the health benefits of a smoke-free environment and the health implications of using tobacco and cannabis.”
The policy applies to all buildings and grounds owned, leased or operated by the university, including outdoor play areas, athletic and recreational fields, university residences and housing, and vehicles or equipment rented, owned or leased by the university.
The smoke-free policy will come into effect July 1, 2019; the university’s interim cannabis policy, which came into effect in October 2018 in response to federal legalization legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, expires June 30.
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