University to introduce smoke-free policy
Dalhousie University announces that smoking will be prohibited on all university-owned property, effective September 1 of this year.
Smoking at Dalhousie is now restricted to areas five metres from buildings. The new policy will cover all University-owned property and grounds, student residences and University vehicles.
“The University first introduced a policy to prohibit smoking in its buildings in 1988,” says President Tom Traves. “That policy has since evolved to keep pace with new health information and attitudes towards tobacco smoke. Our aim is to improve public health at Dalhousie.”
In January, nearly 82 per cent of those who responded to a request for comments about implementing a new policy supported changes. Overwhelmingly people at Dalhousie are unhappy with the existing policy. They react poorly to being exposed to smoke at entranceways to buildings, on walkways, and in offices that have windows or doors where smoke wafts in from outside.
The university will work with health agencies to offer cessation programs to employees and students. It also will carry out an extensive communications program to inform students, faculty, staff and the public, who use its facilities, about the policy change.
“We understand that our decision will not be an easy one for everyone,” says President Traves. “However, we believe we have a role to play as a major Canadian university. We educate young people, including those who will join the medical and health professions, and we have a public health role, too, to protect people from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.”