In 2011 Memorial adopted a smoking policy to align with its commitment to provide a safe, smoke-free environment for students, faculty and staff.
The university adopted a path to a smoke-free campus with a phased-in approach to banning smoking on all campuses that came fully into effect in 2013. However, a smoke-free campus has not been achieved.
In the spring of 2019, Memorial surveyed the university community to explore individual experiences and suggestions for improvements related to the smoking policy. The survey results were used to inform the revised policy draft.
Consultation on this draft began in early March 2020 just before the pandemic shutdown. Two weeks later, the process was paused. The university is now revisiting this and is reopening the consultation for the next six weeks. Feedback previously received will be considered.
Examples of what was heard in the 2019 survey, out of 2,888 responses received, 97 per cent of respondents say they have seen someone smoke on campuses; 61 per cent feel they have been affected by second-hand smoke exposure; and more than 650 survey responses suggested a designated smoking area as something to consider.
Considering designated areas
Based on survey feedback, observations since the policy was implemented and a review of provincial legislation, the revised policy draft considers the concept of designated smoking areas, while committing to a smoke-free campus in all other areas.
The policy also emphasizes promotion of smoking cessation programs and consideration of special circumstances.
In accordance with the university’s policy framework, a revised smoking policy is available for consultation. Members of the university community are invited to review the documents and forward comments to the Office of the Chief Risk Officer or the policy office by June 18, 2021.
After consultation concludes, a recommendation for any required amendments to the policy will go to the Board of Regents later in 2021.
The draft policy can be found online.