Sometimes observed and sometimes not: regulations for smoking on campus

Photo by Nathalie Laflamme
Photo by Nathalie Laflamme

President Alan Shepard is not looking to forcibly enforce Quebec’s Tobacco Act, despite the risk of second-hand smoke and the violation of the Tobacco Act’s regulations.

“All institutions struggle with the issue, it’s not just Concordia,” said Shepard. “It would be for all public and probably private institutions as well.”

Concordia University is subject to the Quebec Tobacco Act under Chapter 2, Paragraph 3, Section 2 and 2.2, which states that “smoking is prohibited outdoors within a nine-metre radius from any door leading to a place referred to in paragraph 1,3,4, or 6 of section 2.”

The university has placed cigarette butt receptacles outside the radius, however, faculty, students and staff often smoke within the radius.

“On a voluntary basis, you ask people to respect the rules and in my experience most people do,” said Shepard. “Our security officers, if they do see people smoking inside the magic ring, do ask people to stop or to move.”

Even when smokers stand outside the nine-metre radius, individuals are still subjected to the smoke as they navigate their way to the entrances. On the downtown campus, in particular, sidewalk space is limited and this provides very little options for people to access Concordia’s buildings without coming into contact with smokers.

“Research shows that second-hand smoke is damaging to health. So if a person is exposed to second-hand smoke because they have to cut through a waft of smoke to get into the building, then that does have a negative effect on their health,” explained Gabriella Szabo, Concordia’s health promotion specialist.

Shepard recognizes that second-hand smoke on campus is an issue but doesn’t feel there’s anything more the university can do about it,

“It’s a reality of modern life that there’s second-hand smoke out there. I don’t like breathing it anymore than you do but would that mean that I should have police officers standing in the bus line? No, I don’t think so. I think peer pressure works better than compliance officers.”

According to Szabo, the nine-metre radius serves not only as a barrier for protecting the health of non-smokers but also acts as a deterrent for smokers.

“It just creates this little extra barrier, this little inconvenience where people, the smoker, recognizes more and more that this cigarette isn’t doing anything for me,” she said. “Now I even have to move nine-metres away instead of standing where I used to stand.”

Although cigarette butt receptacles on campus are placed outside the nine-metre radius, the benches beside said receptacles, in particular the benches in front of the Hall building, are not. Therefore smokers who want to use those benches are in violation of the law.

Shepard is also not worried by the mess smokers leave when they neglect to use the proper receptacles.”

“I think our teams do a pretty awesome job of keeping this place clean. I’ve worked at several universities and both inside and out, the teams who do maintenance and the cleanup do a great job.”

For the moment, Shepard is satisfied that security is doing its job and hopes that members of the Concordia community will voluntarily comply with the rules.

“We’re not going to get into the business of issuing fines or citations,” he said. “I don’t know that that would actually provide the kind of deterrence you want. What I would really like is voluntary compliance and I think we mostly get that.”




  1. Really disappointed in this article. It makes it sound as if there is nothing that the students can do, when in fact, the students can do something if they are bothered by the smokers who are violating policies

    1. Its easy real easy just like in NAZI Germany rat out your neighbors and family and friends!
      The Führer thanks you from the grave:

      Hitler was a Leftist
      Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

      One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel — upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast — liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

  2. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

      1. Oh yes indeed……………When the law becomes oppressive its every citizens duty to disobey!

  3. About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it quickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

    4 % is carbon monoxide.

    6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
    (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80)…………..

  4. Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”


    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

Comments are closed.

Related Posts