Smoking is now banned on the UNB campuses, as announced in an email sent to students on December 9.
UNB has had growing concerns about the huge role tobacco smoke plays in the development of serious health concerns, including coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, among others. The university hopes that this policy will work towards promoting a healthy and safe environment on its campuses.
“In late 2017, our Smoking Policy Review Committee was established and has worked diligently to determine best practices and gather community feedback… As a result of their important work, the University of New Brunswick has determined that all campuses will become smoke-free as of September 1 2022,” said Mark Walma, chair of the Smoking Policy Review Committee.
According to Walma, the committee put out a smoking policy survey that nearly 2 500 members of the UNB community participated in. It was these responses that helped the committee reach its recommendations. By announcing the policy now, the committee believes the community members will have adequate time to prepare for the change and make informed decisions as to their health and education plans.
Supports have also been made available by UNB for students who would like more information.
“Our website lists a number of free online resources, and students who need additional support are able to book an appointment at the Student Health Centre or with Counselling Services,” explained Walma.
The enforcement of this policy will not differ from the enforcement of other school rules; students who breach the policy will be dealt with under the Student Discipline Code, and a breach for an employee will be treated as a performance issue, subject to discipline.
“Research shows counselling can significantly increase the chances of quitting successfully. Faculty and staff are encouraged to check their individual insurance coverage for cessation aids. As we move forward towards September 2022, UNB will be further promoting a smoke-free lifestyle for all community members and highlighting additional resources,” Walma concluded.
Most students are indifferent to this policy, especially the first years, most of whom have never even been on the university campus.
“I don’t really feel anything about the policy seeing as I haven’t even been on campus since I started here,” said first-year BA student Morgan Craig.
UNB will continue to communicate with students, faculty, and staff to ensure they are familiar with the change.