Earlier today, UW president Vivek Goel announced that the university will be working towards becoming a fully smoke-free campus by July 1, 2024. This move means that UW will be joining over one hundred smoke-free colleges and universities in Canada.
The announcement comes after a change to Policy 29, which bans anyone from using smoking devices on university property. More information about this policy can be found on the university’s website.
As tobacco use for cultural and spiritual smudging is still allowed, and is protected in the Ontario Human Rights Code, the policy change will not impact any Indigenous ceremonies in the UW community. The goal of this change is mainly to reduce unwanted and involuntary exposure to tobacco, as well as to help those trying to quit smoking.
During the coming months, the university will be communicating details through signage, emails and their website at uwaterloo.ca/smoke-free, including any updates and other useful information to help all members of the UW community adapt to the new policy. UW administration will also be providing education and outreach about the change.
In the meantime, students are able to submit their thoughts to the university via an online form. Responses must be submitted no later than November 30.