As announced earlier this year, McGill campuses will become largely smoke-free as of Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes will only be permitted in designated smoking areas.
The new policy, adopted by McGill’s Board of Governors on December 12, 2017, is aimed at promoting and preserving the health and well-being of the McGill community. Its adoption followed an extensive consultation process initiated in 2015 by student groups advocating for a smoke-free campus.
“Surveys conducted among undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty in recent years indicated that between 73 per cent and 77 per cent of the community support the idea of a smoke-free campus,” said Robert Couvrette, Associate Vice-Principal, Facilities Management and Ancillary Services.
Additionally, recent provincial legislation now requires college- or university-level educational institutions to adopt a tobacco-control policy geared toward establishing a smoke-free environment.
McGill’s new smoking policy will apply to the downtown campus, Macdonald Campus and the Gault Reserve. It will not apply to spaces leased by McGill (e.g. 1010 Sherbrooke, 550 Sherbrooke, 2001 McGill College Avenue, etc.) or private residences leased from the University (for example, staff housing units at the Macdonald Campus). For locations of the smoking areas, please see this webpage.
Community participation key to success
Smoking will no longer be permitted on the west side of the Redpath Library Building (by McTavish St.). Signage will be installed directing smokers to the designated smoking areas. McGill security agents will include problematic areas in their rounds and seek to educate anyone who is ignoring or unaware of the new policy. Community members are invited to do the same, in a respectful manner.
“We hope we can count on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers alike to help in our transition toward smoke-free campuses,” Couvrette added. “Best practices from other institutions suggest that community enforcement is broadly effective, and that non-compliance declines over time.”
On the downtown campus, the designated smoking areas will be in place for a maximum period of five years. The campus will then become completely smoke-free, except near the upper residence buildings and at Solin Hall, where the designated smoking areas will be permanent.
Smoking cessation resources
There are many resources available to members of the McGill community who wish to stop smoking. More information for staff is available online. Students may contact Student Health Services or Counselling Services.