Smoke-free program

We share the air

Since 2011, smoking on the University of Victoria campus has only been permitted in designated areas outside Ring Road. Look for the marked benches and cigarette receptacles in convenient and accessible locations within a three-minute walk of any campus building.

UVic is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, employees and visitors. For details, please review the University Smoking Policy.

Second-hand smoke is hazardous and can cause disease, including lung cancer, in healthy non-smokers.

To provide feedback about this initiative, please contact .

We share the air.

The smoking policy at UVic reduces exposure to second-hand smoke.

What is the policy?

The university is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, employees and visitors. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas outside Ring Road. The university has continued to receive requests from staff and students to reduce second-hand smoke in their areas of work and study. Second-hand smoke is hazardous to health and can cause disease, including lung cancer, in healthy non-smokers.

Where are the designated areas?

Look for designated smoking areas, including marked benches and cigarette receptacles, in convenient and accessible locations within a three-minute walk of any campus building. A map of designated smoking areas is available.

What will happen if I smoke outside the designated areas?

We expect that everyone will be considerate, and voluntarily support this clean air initiative on campus. This program is intended to be self-enforcing and respectful to smokers and non-smokers. Signage has been added around campus to remind people to smoke only in designated areas. If you require additional signage, please email clearair@uvic.ca with the specific location and request.

Do other universities have similar policies?

Yes. Many other Canadian universities have implemented complete or partial smoking bans. Locally, the Capital Regional District brought in an amended Clean Air Bylaw in July 2007 that prohibits smoking on outdoor patios. The Vancouver Island Health Authority and many other public venues, including shopping malls, also prohibit smoking on their properties.

I want to quit smoking. Where can I go for help?

Your first step in getting ready to quit is to create a plan.

Quit Now offers a wealth of resources to help you with this step as well as to start and then manage your process.

The BC Ministry of Health offers a Smoking Cessation Program for eligible BC residents to assist with the cost of prescription and non-prescription smoking cessation aids.

Information about the provincial program can be found at http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/stop-smoking/.

What is second-hand smoke?

Second-hand smoke is composed of the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette or pipe, and the smoke that is blown into the air by the person smoking. Second-hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. Two thirds of the smoke from a cigarette is not inhaled by the smoker, but enters the air around the smoker. WorkSafeBC regulations prohibit exposure to second-hand smoke.

Is there proof that second-hand smoke is bad for your health?

Yes. Tobacco is acknowledged as the leading cause of preventable disease; scientific evidence indicates there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke has at least twice the amount of nicotine and tar as the smoke inhaled by the smoker. Non-smokers who breathe in second-hand smoke can acquire serious diseases including lung cancer, heart disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) and asthma. Regular exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung disease by 25% and heart disease by 10% (Source: The Lung Association of British Columbia).

Are e-cigarettes exempt from the Smoking Policy?

No. Very little research has been done on e-cigarette health hazards, either for those who use e-cigarettes or those who are exposed to their vapours. As such, Health Canada continues to advise Canadians not to use e-cigarettes as they may pose health risks. Furthermore, Health Canada has not approved the sale of nicotine-based e-cigarettes in Canada. For additional information please go to: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php

How do I get more information?