Policy 58 - Tobacco use at the University of Ottawa

Approved Administrative Committee 2260.2



1. This Non Smoking at the University of Ottawa policy (“Policy”) aims to regulate smoking at the University of Ottawa (“University”) in order to:
• (a) promote and preserve the health and well-being of the entire University population;
• (b) reduce and contain University users' and visitors' exposure to the harmful by-products of tobacco use;
• (c) comply with provincial legislation governing the sale and use of tobacco 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" means carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, cigarillo, flavoured tobacco product, pipe or any other lighted instrument, and "smoke" has a corresponding meaning;
• (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 patio or terrace of a food service provider where seating is provided and food is served or consumed
• (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
• (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 any 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, pleasure activities, including the grassed area in front of Tabaret Hall and the University Square in front of FSS.
• (h) “Motor Vehicles with Children Inside” means a motor vehicle with anyone under the age of 16 years of age.


3. This Policy applies to all members of the University community, including but not limited to, academic staff, support staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, trainees and volunteers as well as to visitors of the University.

4. The Policy does not apply, however, to nicotine-replacement products, such as the patch.


5. Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings, covered locations, and other areas, including tunnels, parking garages, lobbies, stairways, patios, sports fields, open communal areas, child care facilities, etc., as is bringing lit tobacco products, except as stated under articles 10 and 11 below.

6. Smoking is prohibited within nine meters (30 feet) of a building entrance, ventilation shaft, loading zones and any other designated areas

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

8. Smoking is prohibited in any motor vehicle with children inside

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

10. It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco to persons under 19. This covers all treated or untreated tobacco that can be smoked, inhaled, chewed or snuffed.
(a) the sale of tobacco, tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is prohibited at the University of Ottawa

11. No person shall promote the sale of tobacco products through product association, product enhancement, or any type of promotional material, as prescribed.

12. Smoking is not permitted in student residences year-round


13. Smoking is permitted in areas not identified in sections 5 to 12; the smoking ban must appear clearly on a readily visible sign posted at the restricted site.

14. Certain restrictions on tobacco use do not apply to traditional First Nations cultural and spiritual activities

15. Smoking is permitted 9 meters from student residences


16. 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 in general.


17. 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.


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

19. 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


20. University employees and students who violate this policy are subject to discipline under applicable policies, Policy 2d, under applicable collective agreements, or applicable student codes of conductguidelines.

21. 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 that this Policy is complied with 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.

22. 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).


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


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

Revised January 1, 2016, 

(Office of Risk Management)



Back to top