JENNA LIAO/THE VARSITY

The University of Toronto has officially decided to ban smoking on all three campuses by January 1, 2019. This includes smoking tobacco or cannabis, as well as vaping.

This will fulfil a September 2017 pledge, which was made shortly after McMaster University announced that they will ban smoking on their property effective January 1, 2018.

The existing smoking policy dates back to 1995 — 11 years before it became illegal to smoke in bars and pubs in Ontario.

The university will allow each campus to designate “smoking spots,” which will be decided based on how far away they are from main buildings. These smoking spots will be temporary, however, as the university aims to move toward a smoke-free environment. Exceptions will be made for Indigenous ceremonies and medical requirements.

“Our existing smoking policy is decades old and recent changes by the provincial government that allow smoking of cannabis in public spaces may increase the risk of exposure to second-hand smoke,” Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President Human Resources and Equity stated.

“We feel this change is consistent with our goal to have a healthy campus environment.”

The policy still needs to go through Governing Council in order to be fully approved. If this occurs, U of T will join 65 other universities and colleges across Canada that have banned smoking.

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