Smoking of any kind will soon be banned on the St. Lawrence College campuses.
On Oct. 15, just two days before the legalization of cannabis, the Kingston, Brockville and Cornwall campuses will become completely smoke-free.
According to Glenn Vollebrgt, president and CEO of St. Lawrence College, the ban was instituted to protect people on campus from the harmful effects of smoking.
“The impact of second-hand smoke and health consequences as a result — it was time for us to do this.”
Despite the timing, Vollebrgt insists the new smoke-ban is not solely inspired by cannabis.
“The recent legalization of recreational cannabis factored into it, but this is important to us — something we stand behind and we’re looking forward to it.”
On the St. Lawrence College website, the smoke-free policy reads: “As a smoke-free college, smoking or vaping tobacco or cannabis is prohibited at all campus locations. This includes all indoor and outdoor areas, and in vehicles on campus.”
The design behind the complete ban, which means students and faculty won’t even be allowed to smoke in the parking lot or in their own cars, is to get people to quit smoking, something Erica Keating, a student and smoker at St. Lawrence College, could see being effective.
“I think it makes sense,” said Keating. “When I first heard of it, I was like, ‘In the winter, there’s no way I’m walking that far away.”
In Kingston, it’s quite a distance between the St. Lawrence College buildings and Portsmouth Avenue, where people will have to trek in order to smoke.
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Others on campus were happy to hear of the ban.
“I get a bit uncomfortable. My feeling is that it takes away from my lungs and I don’t want to be around that,” said Ben Summers, a student at the Kingston campus.
Whereas others like Varshitch Sarahau believe people should be allowed to smoke on some parts of the campus.
“I think there should be designated areas for smokers too, because you can’t just push someone not to smoke,” Sarahau said.
Nevertheless, Vollebregt says the college will provide resources for students and faculty looking to quit smoking.
— With files from Alexandra Mazur
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