about history

Smoke-Free Campuses

Commercial Tobacco of all forms remains the most widely used lethal substance on campus affecting both smokers and non-smokers. Smoke-free campus policies that make it easier for people to resist and quit smoking can have a tremendous impact on the health of an entire campus community!

Across Canada, nearly 85 university and colleges have adopted 100% smoke-free policies. In Ontario, McMaster led the charge in January 2018 becoming Ontario’s first campus to adopt a 100% smoke-free policy. Since then, George Brown College and Redeemer University College have also announced the adoption of 100% smoke-free policies. More and more campuses are talking about going smoke-free, many even setting policy implementation dates for early 2019!

Is your campus involved? Check out the National Status Report.


about history

Key Messages

When it comes to smoke-free campuses, the voice of students (or staff or faculty), YOUR VOICE, needs to be heard – loud and clear. Through YOUR leadership and passion, you can inspire peers and campus stakeholders to take action and push decision-makers to make positive policy changes.



Use these key messages to rally your peers to the cause:

Message 1: Everyone deserves to breathe clean air where they live, work, study, and play.
Message 2: Addressing the commercial tobacco epidemic will not only save lives, but also the planet.


Use these key messages to convince administrators that policy change is necessary and positive:

Message 3: Students are targeted by the tobacco industry whose products kill up to two-thirds of long-term users.
Message 4: Tobacco-free policies decrease costs for schools without impacting enrollment.

about history

1Day Stand

Adopted from the American Cancer Society’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, Leave The Pack Behind and Public Health partners encourage post-secondary campuses in Ontario to take a 1DayStand.

What? A 1DayStand inspires institutions to adopt a smoke-free policy for one day.

Why? A 1DayStand gives everyone on campus a voice. When people share their ideas, change their behaviours, take actions, and start important conversations, a healthier campus emerges.

When? In the 2019/20 school year, the 1DayStand in Ontario will take place twice:

How? For one day:

  • Take a 1DayStand with people who smoke to encourage them not to smoke on campus for the day, and support them in making a quit attempt
  • Take a 1DayStand with your campus to empower students, staff and faculty to talk about the benefits of a smoke-free campus policy
  • Take a 1DayStand to generate support and advocate on your campus for a smoke-free policy

Already on a smoke-free campus? Great work! Host a 1Day Stand to celebrate and reinforce the policy, and to recognize the hard work of those who brought the policy to life.

By hosting a 1DayStand event on your campus, you support and empower your peers to quit - or stay smoke-free. You educate students, staff, faculty and visitors on the benefits of smoke-free campus policies. And you empower people to take action to make your campus a healthier place to live, work, study and play.



about history

Supporting Campus Policy Change

In 2016, a committed group of individuals and organizations including Tobacco Control Area Networks, Public Health Units, Leave The Pack Behind and other Smoke Free Ontario partners came together with the aim of promoting smoke-free campuses across Ontario. Today, the Smoke-free Campus movement is going strong as partners develop and share resources, and work alongside post-secondary institutions to implement 100% smoke-free policies.

There’s always room for more.

If your campus is working towards policy change, let’s join forces! Experts from Leave The Pack Behind will happily share experience, knowledge and the resources to support your campus to develop a strong, viable smoking policy. If you are interested in spearheading policy advocacy work on your campus with the support of Leave The Pack Behind, please contact us.


Dr. Lawrance, Director of Leave The Pack Behind, created this video about some common questions and misconceptions around tobacco and smoke-free campus policies. Check it out!

about history

Tools & Guides

How do you get involved and take action?

Use these resources and information to rally students, staff and faculty to your cause, and inspire your campus to adopt a smoke-free campus policy. If you are interested in more information about tobacco control bylaws in your city/region, refer to your local Public Health Unit.

Featured Resources

Making Campuses Smoke-Free: A Guide to Action
The aim of this guidebook is to provide important information and increase support for the creation of smoke-free policies at post-secondary campuses across Ontario. The Making Campuses Smoke-Free Guide outlines what a smoke-free campus can look like and summarizes four key messages about smoking on campus to support and encourage students and stakeholders to become leaders in these efforts.

Environmental Scan of Ontario Colleges and Universities
Each year, Leave The Pack Behind monitors the state of smoke-free policies across all 44 publicly funded Ontario post-secondary institutions. For more information, see the current (2017-18) environmental scan.

Sample Smoke-Free Campus Policy
Writing a clear and concise policy is vital to ensuring that members of the campus community can understand and comply with the policy. For help with this, read the Sample Smoke-free Policy for post-secondary campuses.

Smoke-Free Campus Dropbox
This Dropbox includes various tools and resources to support you in developing a 100% smoke-free campus policy, planning for and implementing a 1DayStand, and in learning more about the smoke-free campus movement.

Other Resources