BY ALEX STEWART
Sheridan College has announced that it will be a smoke-free environment as of Oct. 17. This announcement includes all three of the Sheridan Campuses — Davis, HMC, and Trafalgar.
The college informed all students and staff via a mass email on Oct. 9 detailing what this means for Sheridan students/staff, what support systems are available and what the next steps are available for anyone who still needs clarification.
This policy change is an update from the original smoke-free Sheridan policy signed just last year on Sept. 26.
Tammy Datar, manager of the Health Centres at all three campuses explains why this policy change is important for the student body.
“Well we are coming from a stance of making sure that there is clean air for all to breathe,” she said. “We’re looking at making and all areas clean toxic free spaces.”
The policy change will ban the use of tobacco and/or cannabis, vaping and use of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco). The designated smoking areas will be removed.
Datar also addressed the alternatives that will be provided to students who would require assistance to quit smoking.
“All students have access to something called Leave The Pack Behind and Leave The Pack Behind is a program that’s offered through Health Canada and Brock University,” she said.
Leave The Pack Behind’s mission statement is to create an environment that supports all young adults to live a tobacco-free life.
It currently has implemented its smoke-free policy at nearly 50 Canadian universities and colleges.
Leave The Pack Behind also provides links and resources that will aid someone if they choose to quit. These links include a contest that offers cash incentives in return for quitting and a quitting smoking initiative funded by the Government of Ontario.
When considering the benefits of quitting smoking, Datar detailed what the benefits are when Sheridan goes 100 per cent smoke-free.
“Overall better health, in the event that it actually assists to encourage any other students or staff who may choose to use this as an opportunity to help to have smoking cessation,” she said. “We also understand that for all people involved on our campuses is that clean air is an important thing for us to look at for the betterment and mental health and wellness of all.”
Sheridan acknowledges that quitting smoking will not be an easy one. Leave the Pack Behind is offering eligible students the option to begin the process of quitting through nicotine-replacement-therapy (NRT). The provided NRT will include eight weeks of free nicotine patches or gum mailed directly to their door.
The notice also invited anyone who needs more information to join the information session provided at each campus. Each campus information session is as follows:
- Davis Campus: Friday, Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. – noon (Davis Residence Conference Room)
- Trafalgar Campus: Friday, Oct. 12 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. (B-Wing Boardroom, second floor)
- Hazel McCallion Campus: Monday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. – noon. (Lecture Hall, A145)