A university in B.C. has made a controversial move that could set a precedent for other schools in the province.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the Lower Mainland will become smoke and vape free as of Jan. 21, which is also the start of National Non-Smoking Week.
The ban will also include smoking or vaping in private vehicles if they’re parked on campus.
“The decision to prohibit smoking and vaping on all KPU campuses was not made lightly,” said Alan Davis, president of the university.
“Ultimately, I concluded that a smoke-free policy, complemented by resources and support, best aligns with our efforts to create a working and learning environment that promotes the overall health and wellness of students and staff.”
Davis says a task force comprising of university representatives deliberated on this move for more than two years.
Tobacco kills 37,000 Canadians every year, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, which makes it the leading cause of preventable disease and death nationwide.
It also has environmental consequences, as nearly five trillion cigarette butts are tossed onto the ground or into water every year.
The university recognizes the inconvenience that this new policy might incur on some students, but encourages those students to explore various smoking cessation resources.