As per new regulations imposed by the Quebec government, those who disobey regulations can be fined up to $750
Concordia has introduced new smoking regulations on campus as of Nov. 26 in response to the Quebec government’s Tobacco Control Act. Failure to abide by regulations may result in a fine between $250 to $750.
“Concordia’s previous smoking regulations stated that smoking or the use of an electronic cigarette was prohibited in any exterior space within a nine-meter radius of the entrances of buildings, athletic facilities, tents and bus shelters,” said university spokesperson Chris Mota.
However, the nine-meter regulation now encompasses windows that open and building air intakes, either on the ground or upper levels, she said. “If the ground floor-level windows do not open but the second floor windows do open, you are required to stand nine meters away from the upper levels,” said Mota.
Mota said building air intakes refer to ventilation systems that provide an intake of fresh air into campus buildings. While these air intakes may be tricky to identify, Mota said they typically look like grates on the outside of a building.
Mota said to identify new non-smoking zones, stickers have been placed on the ground around buildings and building air intakes. They are light grey and six by 12 inches long. “Sandwich boards will also be out in areas where we see a lot of smokers congregate, such as outside the Hall building,” said Mota.
Concordia president Alan Shepard told The Concordian at a student media briefing on Nov. 25 he believes the new regulations are valid. “If somebody is smoking right outside the air vent, it sucks the pollutants all through the whole building,” he said.
There has been a casual discussion within Concordia administration if the university should be a smoke-free campus completely, said Shepard.
“We have not taken that step, I think it would be difficult with the urban nature of our campus,” said Shepard. “I think it would be difficult to enforce anyway and I’m not really in favour of rules that look great on paper, but nobody is actually going to abide by them.”
For students interested in quitting smoking, as detailed in the press release, Concordia Health Services provides free one-on-one smoking cessation counselling with a health promotion specialist for students, faculty and staff.
Graphic by Florence Yee