You are now in the main content area

Smoking and Vaping Policy

  • Related Documents:  Guidelines Regarding Smoking Cessation Programs

  • Owner:  Facilities Management and Development (Environmental Health and Safety)
  • Approver:  Vice-President, Administration and Operations
  • Approval Date(s):  May 2019

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

1.    minimize unwanted exposure to tobacco, cannabis or nicotine vapours and smoke;

2.    minimize the risk of fire and damage to University Property; and

3.    comply with applicable law including but not limited to provincial regulations and municipal by‐laws; specifically, Ontario’s Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 (external link)  which prohibits smoking or holding lighted tobacco or cannabis or using an Electronic Cigarette, in Enclosed Workplaces and Enclosed Public Places.

II. Scope

1.    This policy applies to the University Community.

2.    Indigenous practices are outside the scope of this policy.

3.    The policy supports the safe use of tobacco and cannabis related substances when used to enrich the University’s research mandate and in response to formal accommodation needs.

III. Definitions

1.    Accommodate: means making an adaptation or adjustment to enable a person with a disability to perform the essential duties or requirements of the position.

2.    Electronic Cigarette: means a vaporizer or inhalant-type device that contains a power source and heating element designed to heat a substance and produce vapours for inhalation by a user directly through the mouth, whether or not the vapours contain nicotine. This includes electronic smoking devices, water-vapour cigarettes, and/or hookah/shisha pens.

3.    Enclosed Public Place: means the inside of any place, building, structure, or vehicle that is covered by a roof and to which the public is ordinarily invited or permitted access, either expressly or by implication, whether or not a fee is charged for entry (based on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.)

4.    Enclosed Workplace: means any place, building, structure, or vehicle that is covered by a roof and in which students, staff, faculty, volunteers, visitors, contractors, agents, or invitees of Ryerson University work or frequent, during the course of their studies, employment, or agreement (based on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.)

5.    Medical Cannabis: means cannabis that is obtained by prescription for medical purposes in accordance with applicable legislation.

6.    Smoke/Smoking: means the inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying of any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other lit smoking paraphernalia, including but not limited to, manufactured cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, cigarillos, herbal cigarettes, Medical Cannabis, bidis, bongs, pipes, bubblers, vaporizers, hookahs, etc.

7.    University Community: means all students, staff, and faculty. For the purposes of this policy, University Community also includes volunteers, visitors, contractors, agents and invitees of the University.

8.    University Property: means the lands, buildings, vehicles and equipment, and information that are owned, leased, or controlled by the University.

9.    Vape/Vaping: means the use of Electronic Cigarettes and includes inhaling or exhaling vapours from an Electronic Cigarette or holding an activated Electronic Cigarette.

IV. Policy

1.    The University Community shall not Smoke or Vape:

a.    in or on any University Property that is an Enclosed Public Place or Enclosed Workplace;

b.    in any University Property that is a vehicle;

c.    within 9 meters of University Property building entrances, exits, loading docks, fresh air intakes, and compressed gas storage areas;

d.    within 20 meters of University Property that is a children’s playground or child care center; or

e.    in the University Quad.

2.    The University requires that all ashtrays or other similar smoking receptacles be removed from all University Property that is an Enclosed Public Place or Enclosed Workplace

V. Exemptions

The University may grant an exemption to certain activities provided that the proposed activities are otherwise in compliance with legislation, such as:

1.    Research Purpose: research that may involve Smoking, Vaping, or cannabis cigarettes (including a Medical Cannabis cigarette) with the approval of the Office of Vice President Research and Innovation.  Each case is subject to review by the Office of Vice President Research and Innovation on an individual basis.

2.    Accommodation: the consumption of Medical Cannabis where Ryerson has a duty to Accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code (external link) .  Academic Accommodation Services and Housing and Residence Life shall review each student case on an individual basis, as applicable. Workplace Wellbeing Services shall review each employee case.

VI. Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with this policy may lead to fines, penalties, sanctions, or remedies pursuant to the law and policies and procedures of the University, including but not limited to the Smoke‐Free Ontario Act, 2017, the Student Code of Non‐Academic Conduct Policy or Housing, and Residence Life Community Standards, Human Resources policies.

Guidelines Regarding Smoking Cessation Programs:

Ryerson recognizes tobacco and nicotine are addictive substances and is committed to providing access to smoking reduction and cessation programs and education.

Ryerson provides assistance to students and employees who wish to stop smoking through the following resources:

1.    Shepell FGI (Employees Only)

a.    Online Counselling: (external link) 

b.    Online Resources: (external link) 

2.    Student Health & Wellness (Students Only)

Office Location: JOR-04

Phone:   416-979-5000 Ext. 4295


3.    Aboriginal Resources:

a. Cancer Care Ontario’s Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy (external link) 

b. Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (external link) 

c. Facebook Groups: Indigenous Tobacco  (external link)