KPU goes smoke-free

Wed, Jan 17, 2018

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) new smoke-free policy is a breath of fresh air.

The university is poised to become only the third post-secondary institution in B.C. to ban smoking on its premises, starting Jan. 21, 2018.

“We didn’t make this decision lightly,” said KPU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Alan Davis. “A task force of employees, faculty and students deliberated at length over the many options and possibilities, ultimately concluding that a full ban was the best way forward.”

The new policy, which will be complemented by resources and support for smokers who are interested in quitting, will go into effect at the start of National Non-Smoking Week — traditionally the time when local, regional, provincial, and federal agencies come together to raise awareness through public education and advocacy of the benefits of quitting smoking.

As of Jan. 21, smoking and vaping are prohibited on all KPU campuses and properties, including inside private vehicles while those vehicles are located on KPU property. Similar smoke-free policies are already in place at the Emily Carr College of Art + Design and Trinity Western University in B.C, and at close to a dozen post-secondary institutions across Canada, the most recent being McMaster University, whose policy also went into effect in January.

“Our objective with the smoke-free policy is to create a working and learning environment that promotes the overall the health and wellness of students and staff,” said Davis.

KPU has been socializing the university community to the new policy since mid-November. Once the policy is in place, members of the KPU community who see someone smoking in violation of the policy are asked to respectfully remind them of the new rules. Individuals who do not abide by the policy may be given a notice of violation by campus security. Supervisors will discuss the violation with employees, while students found in violation will be subject to the provisions of the Student Conduct policy.

More information on the policy is available at

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, tobacco kills 37,000 Canadians every year, making smoking the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada.