One of 15 new designated smoking benches at the University of Victoria where smoking is now prohibited inside Ring Road.

One of 15 new designated smoking benches at the University of Victoria where smoking is now prohibited inside Ring Road.

UVic bans smoking within Ring Road

“There hasn’t been any resistance to this,” said UVic spokesperson Patty Pitts, adding that extensive student and staff consultation has been conducted since the spring. “We did change our policy back in 2007, where we were asking people not to smoke within 10-metres of any buildings, but I understand we were still receiving complaints of second-hand smoke coming in through windows or venting systems.”

Cigarettes, smokes, cancer sticks – whatever you call them, the University of Victoria has banned their use inside Ring Road.

Smokers are now being politely asked to move elsewhere on campus if they want to light up between classes.

“There hasn’t been any resistance to this,” said UVic spokesperson Patty Pitts, adding that extensive student and staff consultation has been conducted since the spring. “We did change our policy back in 2007, where we were asking people not to smoke within 10-metres of any buildings, but I understand we were still receiving complaints of second-hand smoke coming in through windows or venting systems.”

Inside Ring Road is where the majority of buildings and traffic are, especially between classes, Pitts said.

Fifteen designated smoking benches have been set up around campus where smokers are requested to congregate.

Pitts says an education campaign has been underway for months, as internal publications, notices and posters are being sent around and displayed.

As well, the university has hosted six quit smoking sessions this summer to help smokers kick their habit, if they so choose.

Enforcement will be peer-driven, Pitts says. “In the past, the campus community has demonstrated a great deal of compliance with our smoking policy.”

For more information on the smoking ban or to see a map of where the designated smoking benches are located, visit www.uvic.ca/smoking.

kslavin@saanichnews.com