Smoke-Free Campus Policy FAQs

The health and safety of Durham College (DC) and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s campus community are of the utmost importance. With this in mind, both institutions are pleased to introduce an interim smoke-free campus policy, effective Monday, October 15. This new policy applies to all members of the campus community including students, employees, visitors and contractors.

For more information please review Durham College’s smoke-free campus frequently asked questions below.

Why has Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology gone smoke-free?

The decision to go smoke-free reflects the college and university’s commitment to ensuring a healthy work and learning environment for all members of the campus community including students, employees, visitors and contractors.

The risks and negative impacts of secondhand smoke are well known. Durham College has discussed becoming smoke-free for over a year. Given the legalization of recreational cannabis use on Wednesday, October 17, and the Government of Ontario’s introduction of Bill 36, the Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018, which allows cannabis smoking wherever tobacco is permitted, the college made the decision to implement the interim policy while we work to finalize the permanent policy.

What does smoke-free mean?

Smoking and/or vaping of any type, including tobacco, cannabis and shisha vaping is prohibited anywhere on the property of Durham College’s Oshawa and Whitby locations. This includes all students residences on campus. Smoking is also not permitted inside or outside of personal or college-owned vehicles while on college property.

Employees and students in off-campus facilities such as the Pickering Learning Site, Campus Corners and DC’s employment centres are required to follow municipal smoking by-laws.

To whom does this policy apply?

The policy applies to all members of the campus community including students, employees, visitors and contractors.

Does the policy include Indigenous traditional and sacred medicines?

The traditional burning of substances that form a part of Indigenous culture and heritage such as tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar, among others, are exempt from the Durham College smoke-free policy.

What if I have a prescription for smoking medical cannabis?

Durham College will work with those requiring accommodations for medical cannabis prescriptions to develop an individualized plan to accommodate their needs.

Where can I go to smoke?

People wishing to smoke must do so off campus. Once off Durham College property, you are required to observe municipal by-laws and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

Can I smoke in my car if it's on college property?

No. Smoking is not permitted inside or outside of personal or college-owned vehicles while on college property.

Can I smoke in my residence?

No, smoking and/or vaping of any type, including tobacco, cannabis and shishais prohibited in and around on-campus residences.

Is smoking permitted ar varsity games, outdoor concerts, or other public events on campus?

The smoke-free policy applies to all events occurring on Durham College property. This includes, but is not limited to, athletic events, concerts, exhibitions, meetings, conferences, weddings, etc.

How will the Smoke-Free Campus Policy and Procedure be enforced?

It is the college’s hope that the entire campus community will work together to implement the smoke-free policy and procedure. We also recognize this change may be difficult for some and we ask the campus community for good-will, patience and understanding as smokers adjust their behavior to align with this new direction.

The Office of Campus Safety will be using a three-phased approach to enforce the smoke-free policy.

Phase one is in effect from Monday, October 15 until Tuesday, January 1 and focuses on awareness and educating the campus community about the new policy.

Phase two, which will take effect beginning on Tuesday, January 1, will consist of issuing verbal and written warnings to those who fail to comply with the policy.

Phase three includes issuing fines and initiating disciplinary actions with existing student, staff and/or faculty disciplinary procedures, as applicable.

Managers who witness compliance issues are empowered to speak to their employees directly, especially if they are not following the college policy, as are faculty to students.

What do I do if I see someone smoking on campus?

If you feel comfortable, you can remind smokers of the change in policy and encourage them to move off campus. If there is a persistent problem, or you are uncomfortable approaching the situation, contact the Office of Campus Safety at ext. 2400.

I want to quit smoking. What should I do?

The college offers a number of resources to support employees and students in quitting smoking. A list can be found below.

Students:

  • Campus Health Centre
    • Medical consultations
    • Naturopathic Doctor for smoking cessation consultations
    • Nicotine replacement therapy

Employees:

General:

What if I have questions or comments about this policy?

From now until January 2019 Durham College will consult with our campus community as we move toward the development of permanent policies. Please watch for information regarding these consultations in the coming weeks.

Questions for Durham College may be directed to Susan Smikle, manager, Insurance and Risk Management.

Will class time be adjusted to accommodate smokers who go out for a break?

Class times and the length of teaching contact hours will remain as 50-minute blocks plus a break of up to 10 minutes (as per 11.01 C in the collective agreement).

People wishing to smoke must do so off campus. Once off Durham College property, you are required to observe municipal by-laws and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.