Date : 1985-09-03
Instance of approval : Administration Committee (2260.2)

  • Date : 2019-04-03
    Instance of approval : Administration Committee
Originating/Responsible Department: Office Risk Management


1. This policy sets out requirements regarding 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 youths under 19; and
  • (d) comply with the municipal by-law, and Ontario Acts and Regulations that govern smoking at work and in public places;
  • (e) respect the rights of non-smokers to a smoke-free environment.


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

  • (a) "Smoking" includes 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) "School bus" means a public vehicle licensed for the purpose of transporting people to or from any activity, event or function associated therewith;
  • (d) “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 9 metres of the edge of the patio;
  • (e) “Sports field” means an outdoor space used for sports activities, including sports fields, stadium seating, domed sports areas, plus public areas within 20 metres of any point on the perimeter surrounding the field or facility;
  • (f) “Child-care Facility” means a facility licensed under the Day Nurseries Act. The entire location must be smoke-free at all times, even if children are not present; this includes all outdoor spaces, playgrounds and all public areas within 20 metres of any point on the perimeter of a children’s playground;
  • (g) “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 FSS.


3. This Policy applies to all members of the University community, including but not limited to, students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors , and volunteers.


4. Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings, covered locations, and other areas, including tunnels, parking garages, lobbies, stairways, all food service patios, sports fields\facilities and surfaces including public areas within 20 metres of the sports fields/facilities or surfaces, open communal areas including Tabaret lawn and patio and University Square, child care facilities and public areas within twenty (20) metres of a child care facility, and the entire Alta Vista Campus which includes Roger Guindon, 600 and 850 Peter Morand.

5. Smoking is prohibited within nine metres (30 feet) of any building entrance/exit or air intake or patio.

6. Smoking in any vehicle, including, but not limited to, school buses, patrol cars, vans, etc., operated by the University is prohibited.

7. The University Occupational Health and Safety committee may recommend that other outside areas be designated as non-smoking, if they see a need for this.

8. It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco and cannabis 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.

9. Smoking is not permitted in student residences.

10. The cultivation of cannabis plants is prohibited in University operated student residences.

11. The use of cannabis by University employees (faculty, staff and contractors) during working hours is prohibited.

12. Although the purchase of recreational cannabis by students and employees is permitted through the Ontario Cannabis Store website, cannabis cannot be delivered to campus.


13.Traditional ceremonial use of tobacco and other sacred medicines by Aboriginal Persons is exempted from the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 and from the application of this policy; see also policy ###, “Provision for Indigenous Ceremonial Practices for Events on University Campus”.

14. Employees or students who require medical accommodation that includes the use of medical cannabis and who have been authorized by the University to use in a designated space.


15. The University shall provide 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.


16. The University shall ensure that a sufficient number of signs are conspicuously posted at the University so as to clearly identify that smoking is prohibited, as prescribed in the applicable government regulations.


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

18. Protection Services shall see to the application of this Policy in public areas. The University reserves the right to request assistance from the City of Ottawa By-Law Enforcement to reinforce compliance with non-smoking offences under their jurisdiction.


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

20. Non-University employees who violate this policy may be requested to leave the University premises or the University may 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 inspectors appointed by the Minister of Health under the Tobacco Control Act.

21. Ontario law and City of Ottawa by-laws provide for fines in case of violation. These fines can be given to individuals or to legal entities (under article 15 of the Smoke Free Ontario Act, under article 14 of the Public Places Non Smoking By-Law or article 11 of the Workplace Non Smoking By-Law).


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


23. No exception may be made to this Policy without the consent of the Administrative Committee.