In 2020, UNB announced that all UNB campuses would be smoke-free as of September 1, 2022.
Now, two years later, how prepared is UNB to implement this new policy?
The initiative taken by UNB is to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone on campus. The smoking policy dictates that smoking is not permitted in campus buildings, residences or the university site.
Smoking is not allowed within a ten-meter perimeter of any university building or adjacent to any ventilation air intake.
In the past, UNB campuses enforced a ten-meter smoking policy. Thus, smokers were prohibited from smoking within 30 feet of the building entrances.
There were “no smoking signs” outside all building entrances, which have now been removed, albeit carelessly. Even with the previous regulations, students living in residence smoked less than ten meters outside the Mackay and Dunn residence buildings, particularly in the winter.
While the Resident Assistants tried to enforce the regulations more strictly, their efforts were of little consequence. Residence students continued to violate the ten meter rule quite openly.
With little to no repercussions, the safety of the residents was constantly compromised.
“I don’t think anyone ever cared” a second year business student had to say. They added that they believed that Residence Life staff do not do its job to uphold the guidelines set by their own team.
New protocols and implementation
The changes brought in by the new smoking guidelines are undoubtedly suitable for everyone and help keep the campus friendlier for non-smokers.
In light of COVID-19 and the detrimental effect it has on the respiratory health of its victims, some see this policy as a blessing. However, is it actually as helpful as it looks on paper?
For over two weeks now, the policy has been implemented and yet, some students and employees seem to be negligent of the new protocol and continue to use the campus ground to smoke.
The new rules have been implemented by UNB as they keep in mind the surveys and discussions with the student body. They are ultimately to make the campus safer, healthier and more welcoming for everyone.
When The Baron spoke to smokers outside residence buildings, one said, “…I live in res. I can’t keep leaving campus every hour.”
This was a popular comment among students and certain UNB staff members. Due to the lack of a designated smoking area, many disgruntled students and staff continue to feel overlooked and, consequently, break the protocols openly.
What to expect
UNB has yet to introduce the designated smoking areas as requested by many. Smokers are waiting eagerly for having a safe spot to smoke, while the non-smokers try to desperately avoid second-hand smoke.
Students and staff now wait for UNB to make the policy more accommodative and regulated.
Read more about the new smoking regulations on campus click here.