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UNB Campuses Going Smoke-Free

By Brad Perry Aug 15, 2022 | 6:30 AM

Smoking will soon no longer be allowed on University of New Brunswick campuses.

All UNB campuses and the Moncton site will be going entirely smoke-free as of Sept. 1.

Associate vice-president Laurelle LeVert said the move follows much research and consultation.

“We know and we acknowledge that tobacco smoke continues to be considered a major contributing factor in the development of many serious health problems and also exposure to second-hand smoke poses a significant health hazard to non-smokers,” LeVert said in a recent interview.

A bi-campus Smoking Policy Review Committee was struck in late 2017 to seek input from the UNB community as to the direction it should take on the issue of smoking on campus.

Since announcing the move to go smoke-free two years ago, LeVert said most people have been supportive of the change.

“We wanted to give our community a bit of a runway, a long period of time to adjust to the decision, and also prepare to make sure that we had cessation supports in place,” said LeVert.

“I think we’ve listened and responded to many questions and concerns related to smoking cessation products that have come out, questions about how we’re going to support our people trying to quit, requests for accommodation, which of course will always be considered.”

According to the university’s Smoking and Tobacco Policy, students, faculty and staff who are prescribed cannabis for medical purposes will be able to apply for accommodations.

In addition, the burning of sacred medicines will be permitted within the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre and in spaces operated and occupied by Nutsipiluwewicik (the Indigenous Nursing Initiative).

“UNB recognizes the unique relationship that many Indigenous cultures have with traditional and sacred medicines such as tobacco, sweet grass, sage, and cedar, among others,” said the policy.

LeVert said faculty and staff should contact the Employee & Family Assistance Program to discuss cessation support and resources offered, while students can contact Student Health Services.

When asked about enforcement, LeVert said the focus of the university will be on education and awareness. Plans are in the work to develop educational materials, posters and awareness campaigns, she said.

“Over time, we’re very confident this will be adopted by the entire campus community.”


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