Date : 1985-09-03
Instance of approval : Administration Committee (2260.2)
  • Date : 2019-04-03
    Instance of approval : Administration Committee
  • Date: 2024-02-07
    Instance of Approval: Administration Committee
Originating/Responsible Department: Office Risk Management


1.1    This policy sets out the regulations governing smoking on University of Ottawa (“University”) campuses in order to:

a)    promote and preserve the health, safety and well-being of the entire University community (students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors, and volunteers);

b)    create a healthy learning and workplace culture that promotes prevention, harm reduction, support and well-being;

c)    comply with provincial legislation governing the sale and use of tobacco and cannabis products and prohibiting the distribution of these products to persons under 19; 

d)    comply with municipal by-laws, provincial and federal acts and regulations that govern smoking at work and in public places; and

e)    respect the rights of non-smokers to a smoke-free environment.


2.1    Unless context dictates otherwise, in this policy, the following definitions apply:

a)    “Smoking” means to hold, or otherwise have control over any lighted substances that produces vapour, smoke, or gases that can be inhaled or exhaled. This can include the use of tobacco or cannabis in the form of cigars, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigarillos, pipes or any other lighted instrument;

b)    “Electronic cigarette” means a vaporizer or inhalant-type device that contains a power source and heating element designed to heat a substance and produce vapour intended to be inhaled by the user of the device directly through the mouth, whether or not the device contains nicotine;

c)    “Patio” means an outdoor area or terrace of a food service provider where seating is provided and food is served or consumed, including an area within nine (9) metres of the edge of the patio;

d)    “Sports field” means an outdoor space used for sports and recreation activities, including sports fields, stadium seating and domed sports areas, plus public areas within twenty (20) metres of any point on the perimeter surrounding the field or facility;

e)    “Child-care facility” means a facility licensed under the Day Nurseries Act. For greater clarity, this includes all outdoor spaces, playgrounds and public areas within twenty (20) metres of any point on the perimeter of a children’s playground;

f)    “Open communal area” means an outdoor space used for communal events and leisure activities, specifically including the grassed area in front of Tabaret Hall and the University Square in front of the Social Sciences Building.


3.1    This policy applies to all members of the University community, including but not limited to, students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors, and volunteers as well as anyone present on the University campus.


4.1    Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings, covered locations, and other areas including:
a)    University student residences

b)    tunnels

c)    parking garages

d)    lobbies

e)    stairways 

f)    food service patios

g)    sports fields and related facilities, including public areas within twenty (20) metres of the sports fields / facilities or surfaces

h)    open communal areas including the Tabaret lawn and patio and University Square

i)    child care facilities and public areas within twenty (20) metres of a child care facility 

j)    the entire Alta Vista Campus, including Roger Guindon, and 600 and 850 Peter Morand

4.2    Smoking is prohibited within nine (9) metres of any building entrance / exit or air intake or patio.

4.3    Smoking in any vehicle operated by the University is prohibited, including, but not limited to buses, patrol cars, service or research vehicles and vans.

4.4    The University Joint Occupational Health and Safety committee can recommend that other outside areas be designated as non-smoking through the process established under its terms of reference.

4.5    It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco or cannabis products to persons under 19. The sale of cannabis, tobacco, tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is prohibited at the University of Ottawa, as is the promotion of cannabis and tobacco products through product association, product enhancement, or any type of promotional material.

4.6    The cultivation of cannabis plants is prohibited in University-operated buildings, with the exception of approved research under appropriate licences.

4.7    The use of cannabis by University employees (faculty, staff and contractors) during working hours is prohibited. University community members must be fit for work and not be impaired while at work.

4.8    Although the purchase of recreational cannabis by members of the University community is permitted through the Ontario Cannabis Store website, cannabis deliveries will not be accepted or managed by the University.

Permitted Exceptions

4.9    Traditional cultural or spiritual uses of tobacco and other sacred medicines by Indigenous persons are exempt from the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 and from the application of this policy. Refer to Policy 124 – Indigenous Ceremonial Practices on or at University Facilities.

4.10    Employees or students who require a medical accommodation regarding the use of medical cannabis and have had this accommodation authorized by the University are permitted to consume cannabis in accordance with the accommodation.


4.11    The University will offer a prevention and education program for the University community on smoking cessation, prevention and education, and on the use of tobacco and cannabis in general.


4.12    The University will ensure that a sufficient number of signs are conspicuously posted at the University so as to clearly identify where smoking is prohibited.


4.13    Everyone at the University of Ottawa is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy.

4.14    Protection Services will ensure the application of this policy in public areas. The University reserves the right to request assistance from City of Ottawa By-Law Enforcement to reinforce compliance with non-smoking offences under the city’s jurisdiction.

Disciplinary Measures

4.15    University employees and students who violate this policy are subject to discipline under applicable policies, collective agreements, or student codes of conduct.

4.16    Non-University employees who violate this policy can be requested to leave the University premises. The University can take whatever measures it deems appropriate to ensure compliance with this policy by such persons, including, but not limited to, sending notices to municipal inspectors, under the City of Ottawa’s by-laws on smoking in the workplace or in public places or to Ministry of Health inspectors under the Tobacco Control Act.

4.17    Municipal, provincial and federal law may provide for monetary fines and other sanctions. Penalties may be levied against individuals or to legal entities by applicable enforcement officials.

Reprisals Prohibited

4.18    Disciplining, penalizing, constraining, dismissing, intimidating or suspending employees for complying, or for asking others to comply with this policy is prohibited.


5.1    The Office of the Chief Risk Officer is responsible for periodic review of this policy and for recommending to the Administration Committee any amendments to it.

5.2    Amendments to this policy require the approval of the Administration Committee.

5.3    The Vice-President Finance and Administration of the University may establish, amend or abrogate procedures for purposes of the effective implementation of this policy, provided that such procedures are consistent with the provisions of this Policy.

5.4    Notwithstanding Section 5.2, the Secretary-General may amend this Policy without the need to submit such amendment to the Administration Committee for approval if such amendment is required to:

a)    update or correct the name or title of a position, unit, law, bylaw, policy, procedure or authority; or

b)    correct punctuation, grammar, typographical errors, revisions to format and other technical revisions, where appropriate, if the correction does not change the meaning of a provision, or make such other correction if it is clear both that an error has been made and what the correction should be; 

c)    correct the form of expression of a provision in French or in English to be more compatible with its form of expression in the other language; or

d)    make consequential amendments to conform with or arising from another University bylaw, resolution, policy or procedure.