McMaster University will become Ontario’s first 100% tobacco and smoke-free campus effective January 1, 2018.
The use of tobacco and all oral smoking devices will be prohibited on the Hamilton campus, inside and on the grounds of the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington, and at all McMaster-owned properties.
“McMaster is globally recognized for its commitment to innovation and advancing health and societal wellbeing through our research, teaching and community service,” says President Patrick Deane. “A tobacco and smoke-free campus is the next important step towards fulfilling our responsibilities as educators, healthcare professionals and to the communities we serve,” he says.
By designating the campus tobacco and smoke-free the University is creating an environment promoting health and wellness that ensures students, faculty, staff and visitors are not exposed to tobacco and smoking products, including second-hand smoke.
“Tobacco cessation is the single most important change a person can make to improve their overall health,” says Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health. “Stopping tobacco use and not being subject to second-hand smoke help prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke and cancer while improving quality of life. McMaster is congratulated on taking this very important and meaningful step.”
Tobacco and smoke-free environments are effective at motivating people towards quitting; starting in September a variety of free cessation programs and resources will also be offered to all members of the McMaster community.
“This change will have different implications for the diverse communities across our campus. As we all manage this transition, it is important that the University’s resources cater to the cultural and mental wellbeing of these communities, and that everyone is aware of these supports throughout this process,” says Ryan Deshpande, Vice President Education, McMaster Students Union.