author: kristian ferguson | news editor
Smoking areas have been significantly reduced
In order for the University of Regina to align itself with other universities in regard to smoking, the number of smoking areas on campus have been reduced.
“The University of Regina is moving toward a smoke-free campus with a newly-revised smoking policy which comes into effect on September 1, 2017,” states the university website.
“The University of Regina will not permit smoking or the use of tobacco products in any University owned or leased building, on leased or owned University property, or in University vehicles, or vehicles parked on University leased or owned property.”
This is not to say that there will be nowhere left to smoke on campus. The university is maintaining three designated smoking areas.
There is one in between the Language Institute and the Paskwāw tower, one between the Research and Innovation Centre and College West, and, finally, one just outside of Luther College.
“We know that exposure to second-hand smoke and the use of tobacco products is a major health hazard. We want to reduce and eventually eliminate this health risk on our campuses,” says Dave Button, Vice President of Administration, in a statement released on the university website.
However, the university is aware of the importance of tobacco for many First Nations people and has organized options for ceremonies.
The university says “tobacco is an integral part of cultural ceremonies and cultural research and requests for guidance, knowledge or knowledge sharing” and has a policy that can be referenced on their website, in regards to smudging and pipe ceremonies.
The Carillon took to some of the student population to see how they felt about the changes to the smoking areas.
First-year MAP student, Eli LaFoy said, “I think it’s a good thing. Even if I smoke, its gross and it’s a health hazard. It makes quitting a better idea, and something with a push behind it. Its good news, even if it’s irritating to smokers.”
Eli finished off with a piece of advice to fellow smokers.
“If it sucks, maybe stop smoking, dudes.”
However, not everyone is on the same page about the changes. First-year theatre student, Hannah Grover, felt differently.
“Its absurd. I think its really limiting and damaging to students who rely on smoke breaks for their mental health.”
Grover, while not a smoker herself, expressed concerns about how using tobacco may be a valuable tool for many students.
“It shames smokers who suffer from mental illnesses; it’s classist because addictions like tobacco are directly related to class struggles. It segregates low-class students who are dependent on smokes for a plethora of reasons. They don’t need to be shamed for an addiction.”
Regardless of personal stance, the university has fully enacted the changes to the smoking policy. While there is no stance on potential punishment to be found on the university website, it is clear that they are serious.
Button ends the statement with a word of encouragement.
“We recognize that smoking is an addiction and we know this change will be difficult for many in our community. We encourage students, faculty and staff to access the smoking cessation programs available to them.”
Students can contact the Students’ Union for further information on smoking cessation programs.