BY STEPHEN YOUNATAN
Sheridan College officially became smoke-free Oct 17. Sheridan’s Share Clean Air team held sessions the past few days to discuss the new smoke-free policy with any students/employees who have questions and concerns. As expected, students and employees both have concerns about the new smoke-free policy.
Now that cannabis is legal, it’s not just smoking cigarettes the college will be halting. Sheridan has now removed smoking areas to officially make the college smoke-free. However, students are still smoking on campus without hesitation. There aren’t any repercussions for smoking on campus besides being told not to do it.
Susan Atkinson, Sheridan College’s communications and media manager, understands that students who smoke will continue to do so. “We recognize that the decision to smoke is a personal one, and we are not asking people to quit, only that they refrain from smoking on campus.”
With Sheridan anticipating more smoking on campus after Oct. 17, they banned smoking to create a clean-air environment. “By moving to adopt a 100 percent smoke-free policy, we will eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke, which is known to be detrimental to people’s health on our campuses,” Atkinson says.
Sheridan is offering students and employees who wish to quit some assistance to help a smoke-free environment. “We are ready to support any students or employees who are interested in reducing their consumption or quitting,” Atkinson says.
Another means of assistance for students includes the Leave the Pack Behind movement. This is a website that helps those students who wish to quit smoking and can’t do it on their own. With the smoke-free policy being applied suddenly, it is not expected to be a smooth transition. Atkinson says that they will go about this in an educational manner.
“We recognize that a change of this magnitude will present a challenge to some. Our initial implementation phase will take an educational approach, advising of the new policy and providing information on available supports.” This will give the students a chance to educate themselves on what they can do to help provide clean-air to fellow Sheridan students.
When it comes to Sheridan students who require the use of medical marijuana, Atkinson says that the school will provide accommodations for them. “Sheridan will provide accommodation for the medical use of cannabis on campus, in accordance with applicable legislation and policy. Students with such concerns should visit Accessible Learning staff to discuss their individual circumstances and needs.
Sheridan’s new smoke-free policy has officially taken effect. From this moment on, smoking any substance on campus will be prohibited and is a major adjustment for some. If any students or employees have any questions and concerns they should visit Share Clean-air.