BY CHARLOTTE DRACOPOULOS
As of today, all Sheridan campuses are 100 per cent smoke-free.
To launch this new initiative the Share Clean Air team held events at all three campuses to inform students about the ban and the benefits of becoming smoke-free.
“So, Sheridan, effective today, Oct. 17, is becoming completely smoke-free in all three of our campuses. And so that means that people cannot smoke tobacco, cannabis, e-cigarettes, vaping or use chewing tobacco on any of the three campuses,” said Rebecca Sprague, Director, HR Services, at the Trafalgar event in the Cafeteria.
The ban includes smoking in vehicles on school property, according to the new Smoke-Free Sheridan Policy, which applies to all students, employees, faculty and visitors to Sheridan.
“Our goal is to promote a healthy and well living, learning and working environment for all of our population. So that’s the reason why we have decided to go forward and become smoke-free at this time,” says Sprague.
The Share Clean Air events were being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Trafalgar, Davis and HMC campuses. Public health nurses and student volunteers came out to speak with students about the benefits of becoming smoke-free. The aim of the event was to be fun and informative and included free takeaways for students.
“So, today’s event is really a celebration of becoming smoke-free and using this as an opportunity to educate people on the fact that we are smoke-free. As well as, share some of the resources we have available for those who are seeking resources,” said Sprague.
What should smokers do about the ban? Sheridan encourages smokers to consider cutting back or quitting smoking. The event helped to promote some of the programs the college provides if students are thinking of quitting.
“So, we have a lot of resources available at sharecleanair.sheridancollege.ca, and so for students you can go to any of our three campus Health Centres and meet with a registered nurse and through Leave the Pack Behind you’ll receive a free nicotine replacement therapy kit,” said Sprague.
The Leave the Pack Behind program offers free support for young adults aged 18-29 and an eight-week nicotine replacement therapy kit. Students can visit the Health Centre at any of the campuses to sign-up.
“And then additionally for employees, we have supports available for our employee and family assistance plan and a reimbursement program,” added Sprague.
For those who plan to continue to smoke on public/non-Sheridan property, they are asked to respect neighbouring properties and avoid littering.
J.P. Pander, a Journalism New Media student, who was at the event supported Sheridan’s move to become a smoke-free campus.
“I think it’s an excellent step. I appreciate the college being smoke-free…it’s a good step to protect ourselves from being a passive smoke,” said Pander.
Scott Edward Morris, from the Film and Television program, was also in agreement that the new policy will have a positive impact on the school.
“I think it’s an awesome step forward into a cleaner future because pollution is horrible already. Small stuff like this is good because it impacts all of us and personally I like to come to school knowing that my air is clean, a little bit cleaner of the overall pollution,” said Morris.
“I think it’s a smart step forward because maybe other colleges will see the same way. I think it’s a very smart step forward to a productive future,” added Morris.