KPU is smoke-free
This means smoking and vaping is prohibited on all KPU campuses and properties, including inside private vehicles while parked on KPU property.
KPU recognizes this policy is inconvenient for some of our community, who have to leave campus to smoke. We encourage smokers to explore the smoking cessation resources available to KPU students and employees. You can also visit the BC Smoking Cessation Program, which helps eligible B.C. residents stop smoking by covering the cost of certain cessation products.
Benefits of Quitting
Smoking increases our risks of developing serious diseases such as cancer, breathing problems, infections and heart disease. Regardless of age, when you quit smoking your body will start to heal right away. Learn more about the benefits of quitting smoking and hazards of using nicotine products at the links below:
There are so many reasons to quit smoking—from looking after personal health, being a good role model, saving more money, and reducing environmental impact. But what are your reasons? This is an important question as your answer is what will drive you forward and keep you motivated when the times get tough.
One of the keys to successfully quitting is preparation. Smoking cessation programs help smokers understand and cope with experiences while they are trying to quit. These programs teach problem-solving and other coping skills.
Many ex-smokers say quitting was the hardest thing they ever did. Yet millions of people have been able to do it - and you can, too! Here are some available resources:
- Walk or Run to Quit - Register for this 10 week program that helps you quit by integrating regular exercise into your life.
- Find out what is covered under the BC Smoking Cessation Program
- Canadian Cancer Society's tools to help you quit smoking
- Health Canada’s resources for those On the Road to Quitting – Guides for Becoming a Non-Smoker
Resources for employees with extended health benefits:
- Homewood Health: Stop Smoking: Get your Life Back!
- Homewood Health - Smoking Cessation Program
- Manulife Benefit Booklets
Resources for students:
Keep in mind that quitting smoking is like learning to ride a bicycle. Of course you’ll fall, but it’s more important to get up and back on your bike. That's how we learn, and the same logic applies to quitting smoking. Over time, you’ll find the right balance.
Frequently asked Questions
Questions about The Policy
How has KPU’s smoking policy recently changed?
Smoking/vaping is currently allowed on campus, although prohibited near doors and windows. The new policy will prohibit smoking/vaping anywhere on campus. All KPU campuses will be smoke free as of January 21, 2018.
What exactly will be prohibited?
Holding or smoking lighted tobacco, electronic cigarettes or other related devices that produce smoke by plant based materials will be prohibited on KPU property. Vapour producing devices are prohibited. Do not light up until off KPU property.
Why did our campuses go smoke free?
Smoking and secondhand smoke are leading causes of preventable disease. Smoke-free campuses promotes healthy behaviour. In addition, many members of KPU community supported the idea of smoke-free campuses on the KPU policy blog.
To whom and when does the policy apply?
The policy applies to all persons, including students, employees, volunteers, contractors, vendors, board members as well as visitors.The policy is in effect 24 hours, including evenings, weekends and holidays and even when the university is closed.
When will the policy come into effect?
The policy will come into effect on January 21, 2018 on all KPU campuses.
Why not just enforce the 7.5 metre distance policy from doors, windows and air intakes?
The current bylaw does not address the issue of secondhand smoke. Due to air flow, some have complained that they can still smell smoke through open windows.
Questions about Being a Smoker at KPU
Will there be designated smoking areas on campus?
No. Continuing to permit smoking or vaping on KPU property would be inconsistent with KPU’s commitment to promoting health because secondhand smoke is a known health hazard. In addition, there is a cost to creating and maintaining designated smoking areas on campuses that KPU would be obligated to cover.
Will I be able to smoke/vape in my car in the parking lot?
No. Parking lots are KPU property. Smoking in a confined space such as a vehicle, poses an additional health risk. Smoking/vaping is prohibited at all times and locations in vehicles parked on KPU property.
At KPU Surrey, can I smoke on the former Westerman property south of campus?
No. KPU owns this property now and it is therefore subject to the same prohibition as other KPU property.
What about my safety if I choose to smoke/vape and go off campus, especially at night?
Should you choose to go off campus to smoke, please exercise the same degree of caution as you would any other time you leave campus. Amongst other measures, if you go off campus at night, please consider staying in well-lit areas and, where possible, travel in a group.
I am a BCGEU employee and my breaks are only 15 minutes and thus not long enough for me to be able to smoke/vape. What can I do?
KPU understands that the new policy may be a challenge for some employees. Breaks are considered rest-periods and were not designed to be smoke breaks. However, employees can discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisors. Employees will be encouraged to seek medical advice for managing nicotine cravings during working hours.
Questions about Smoking Cessation
What will KPU be doing for students and employees who would like to stop smoking?
KPU will provide a list of resources to assist in smoking cessation. In addition, employees can contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program to obtain additional information on smoking cessation.
Will I have to quit smoking/vaping?
The policy is focused on encouraging and maintaining a healthy environment, free of exposure to secondhand smoke. While students, employees and visitors are not required to quit smoking, they are, required to abide by the policy.
Do employee health benefits include cessation programs or medications?
Some smoking cessation products or medications may be covered. Please consult your health benefits advisor for information on coverage. In addition, the Employee and Family Assistance Program offers smoking cessation assistance.
E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and emit vapour. Why are they included in the policy?
Provincial legislation treats tobacco products and non tobacco products similarly. Therefore, e-cigarettes are included in the new policy. The tobacco industry heavily markets e-cigarettes as a cessation device, although they have not been approved by Health Canada for this purpose.
Questions about Enforcement
Who will be enforcing the smoke free policy?
All members of the KPU community are responsible for respectfully informing or reminding others about the policy.
What will be the consequences for smoking/vaping on campus?
After January 21, 2018, security officers will give a Notice of Violation to anyone smoking/vaping on campus and ask violators to stop or leave KPU property. There is no monetary fine.
Supervisors will discuss the violation with their employees, volunteers and contractors. Students found in violation of the policy will be dealt with under the ST7 Student Conduct (Non-Academic).
What do I do if I find someone smoking/vaping on campus after January 21, 2018?
The KPU community should respectfully inform or remind others of the policy. If someone continues to smoke/vape, please inform a supervisor, manager or security officer.
When cannabis is legalized, will this policy apply to marijuana smoking?
As stated in the policy, smoke produced by any plant based material will be prohibited on campus. This includes cannabis.
Questions about Exemption from Policy
Will use of tobacco for traditional Aboriginal ceremonies be allowed on KPU property?
KPU acknowledges the traditional use of tobacco as part of Aboriginal culture and spirituality; therefore, culturally related use may be considered for an exemption under this policy.