A week in and already receiving mixed reviews
By Katie Czenczek, News Editor
Douglas College’s hard-line ban on all things vapour, smoke, and cannabis has had its fair share of both critics and supporters.
On September 1 Douglas enacted its strict no-smoking policy. Ultimately, this removed the smoking pit near the Douglas College Students’ Union on both floors. Signs have been posted all around outdoor spaces at Douglas, though they only specifically showed a no-smoking sign despite vapes and cannabis also being prohibited.
Security guards spent the majority of their time outside near the spots around campus that many smokers congregate to. Whether or not they were sent there specifically to enforce the new rule is yet to be determined, as Douglas security could not comment at this time.
According to Douglas College’s website, approximately 75 percent of students supported banning smoking, vapes, and pot from the premises. For those who do smoke, 23 percent of smoking Douglas College students are said to want to quit, also as reported by Douglas College’s website. While there is no mention as to why cannabis was also banned from school grounds, it seems significant that the ban started merely a month before cannabis will be legalized nationwide.
Roxy Grimbeck, a first-year sports science student at Douglas College, said in an interview with the Other Press that she supported the ban.
“I know that many people are sensitive to smells, and vaping and cigarettes have very overpowering smells,” she said.
Grimbeck also said that she didn’t want to be bombarded with smoke and vapour the second she stepped outside the building.
“When I walk outside, I want to be breathing in fresh air—not vape or smoke when I need to take a break from my classes,” she said. “Smoking is terrible for you and students shouldn’t have to get second-hand smoke from leaving the campus.”
Students who do use vapes and cigarettes, however, have only seemed to move over a couple of metres from the original spots allocated for smoking because Douglas College cannot enforce the ban outside of school grounds.
Bobby Singh, a fourth-year BPEC student at Douglas College, said in an interview with the Other Press that he doesn’t think it’s fair to lump together cigarettes and vapes.
“I understand that students don’t want to have vapour in their face, and that’s fair, but for people who are trying to quit smoking it’s difficult to be forced into the same area where all of the smokers go,” he said.
Singh also said that while vapes can be quite intrusive, there are other e-cigarettes that can be less so.
“The thing is, vapes and stuff can be intrusive, but a Juul isn’t nearly as bad,” he said.
Only time will tell how long the ban will persist, but as of right now, Douglas College continues to be a smoke-free zone.