In January of this year, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne passed legislation that banned e-cigarette smoking and vaping in places where cigarettes are prohibited, effectively lumping vaping into the category of smoking.
Western is now following suit by banning students from vaping in designated areas called clear air corridors. What’s more, students within 10 meters of any entrance, window, air intake or loading dock are forbidden from vaping.
According to the Clear the Air website, after the London Health Science Centre went smoke-free on July 1, 2016, many people crossed from LHSC to Western property in order to smoke. As a result, many people began complaining of the lingering clouds of smoke appearing all throughout campus.
In May through June, Western conducted a series of surveys asking Western students what they thought of the increased smoking. According to the results, 69 per cent said they are bothered by secondhand smoke on campus. 76 per cent strongly agreed or agreed that a move to smoke free campus would be a positive transition.
Whether or not Western will completely ban smoking from campus is yet to be considered. An advisory committee on the Future of Smoking at Western will decide what further action will be taken to reduce smoking on campus.
Students aren’t penalized for smoking in areas where they shouldn’t. Though, they are strongly encouraged not to do so.
Jane O’Brien, associate vice-president human resources at Western, said that they haven’t considered penalizing students as it is a health issue.
“Ultimately, we need to persuade people to ensure that they follow the request of the community,” O’Brien said. “We’re just asking people to follow the law, it’s no different than asking people to wear safety belts.”
Clear air corridors were first implemented in 2015. They began appearing in areas where there were significant complaints, especially between the University Community Centre and Weldon Library, the overhang in front of the Social Sciences Building, the walkway between Lawson Building and Somerville House.
Now there are clear air corridors on the north end of campus including Medical Sciences, Dental Sciences, the Health Sciences Addition, Taylor Library, Kresge, Siebens-Drake, Natural Sciences, Biology and Geology, Chemistry, the Biotron, the Greenhouses and Robarts Research Institute.