In 2015, officials at Vanier College introduced a ban on soft drinks and fried foods at its cafeteria. It was a move to promote a healthy lifestyle at the Saint-Laurent cegep. This year, the school is going one step further – smoking is now forbidden on the entire grounds of the college.
The new rule took effect Monday August 13 and it will be strictly enforced. At the start of the school year, offenders will receive a verbal warning. Repeat offenders could eventually face a $25 fine.
17-year-old student Alexandra Furtado says the smoking ban is welcome news.
« I love it. It’s a great idea. Smoking kills, » she says.
Smoking is also forbidden inside vehicles in the school’s parking lot.
« Anyone who wants to smoke cigarettes or vape will have to go off college grounds and onto a public space, » says Darren Becker, Vanier College’s Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs. « We installed three ashtrays along Sainte-Croix Boulevard for their convenience. »
The new rule will also apply to marijuana. Recreational cannabis use will be legal in Canada on October 17.
Vanier College becomes the second English cegep to impose an outright ban on smoking on school grounds. Dawson College introduced a similar measure in January.
A survey done last February showed most students were in favour of the new rule.
More than four thousand people responded. Of that number, 64 per cent approved the ban and only 22 per cent were against it. « That gave us the mandate to act as we did. It’s a no-brainer, » says Becker.
The smoking ban also applies to satellite campus grounds and at facilities owned or leased by Vanier College, including the Lachute Field Station.