In Focus News

Clearing the Smoke

(Photo: Avi Jacob)
(Photo: Avi Jacob)

Student smokers better stock up on the nicotine gum now: As of August 1, 2016, smoking is prohibited anywhere on the King’s campus.
“No smoking” is defined by the Smoke-Free Places Act, which was updated on May 31, 2015 to include all forms of smoke, from traditional cigarettes and cigars to electronic cigarettes and even hookahs.
The policy has been discussed at length this past year at King’s. Consultations have included the Property, Grounds and Safety Committee, the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Faculty and the Board of Governors, all of which have recommended the adoption of a graduated smoking ban on campus.
Instead, King’s has decided to quit cold turkey: The new policy includes the removal of a temporary designated smoking area, which was provided for an interim period of one year. This area was away from doors, windows, heavy pedestrian traffic, and was in compliance with the provincial smoking legislation.
Alex Doyle, Director of Facilities, explained that the policy was recommended by the Occupational Health & Safety Committee and passed by the Board of Governors. The decision was made two years ago.
“Essentially, it’s a safety issue,” said Doyle. “The new policy is a positive one, especially for the environment.”
He believes the new policy will reduce the number of cigarette butts left on campus.
Not everyone on campus sees the change as such an improvement.
“I am deeply irritated to hear that the policy is changing,” said Kathleen Lutz, a second year student. “I think that the policy which was in place was a good one and that this is a step too far and certainly too fast.”
Lutz’s main concern has to do with the social and amicable relationships she has formed through the designated smoking area.
“The smokers’ area brought people together,” she said. “Personally speaking, I met almost every single one of the amazing friends I made at King’s there, not to mention the professors I met and discussed so much with.”
Susan Dodd, a faculty member who has made use of the smoking area, has mixed feelings.
“I think that anything to help people quit smoking is good. The elimination of space where people get together and talk about things is unfortunate,” she says. “And I just wonder if there aren’t more supportive ways to help people quit smoking.”
Jokingly Lutz sums up the change to a smokeless King’s campus.
“Two years isn’t enough time for us sensitive intellectual types to adjust.”

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