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December 6, 2010

Along with a growing number of post-secondary institutions across Canada, Camosun College is making moves to become smoke-free at both its Victoria campuses, much like the policy British Columbia's secondary schools and Vancouver Island's Health Authority have already put in place.

"Currently staff and student smokers can do so anywhere on campus, so long as they are 5 metres away from doors and windows," says Denis Powers, Executive Director, Human Resources at Camosun College. "But as of February 1, smoking will only take place at a few designated spots."

Designated smoking sites have been identified at both campuses, and will be noted as such via signage and direct communication with students and staff. The change will come into effect February 1, 2011.

Why the change?

"Camosun College is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for all students and employees," says Powers. "The policy change reflects what our staff and students have asked for."

A detailed survey (pdf) of tobacco use at Camosun College in May 2009 revealed that 85% of respondents were exposed to second-hand smoke on campus. The majority of respondents (86%) strongly agreed or agreed that non-smokers have a right to a smoke-free environment.

"We're changing our smoking and tobacco product policy in view of that survey," says Powers, "And because of the increasing frequency of complaints related to second-hand smoke exposure on both campuses."

Ready to quit?

Quitting smoking is the single most important step anyone can take to improve personal health. Help is available! College resources and support exist at camosun.ca/smokefree, and there are excellent quit resources available through the BC Lung Association's QuitNow website quitnow.ca or the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Quitters Unite website quittersunite.com.

Last updated: December 6, 2010 1:49 pm

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