SAIT students share views on smoke-free campus policy

An anonymous student smokes outside the Senator Burns Building on SAIT Campus in Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.  Photo by Jagjit Singh Sohal.

CALGARY – As SAIT continues to enforce its smoke-free policy, some students are finding ways to cope with the challenge of not lighting up on campus. According to SAIT’s website, it became a smoke-free campus in fall of 2020. 

The policy prohibits smoking of any kind – including tobacco and cannabis, along with vaping – on SAIT property. It was implemented to support the long-term health and well-being of the SAIT community and to reduce fire hazards, litter, and maintenance costs. 

However, many students and faculty can still be seen smoking on campus.  

Enforcement through ticketing will be the “last tool used by SAIT’s community peace officers,” read an online post.  The SAIT website also offers resources to students who want to get over nicotine and smoking cravings. 

However, for some students who smoke, the policy poses a challenge, especially during stressful times such as exams or assignments. 

One student, who asked to remain anonymous, said she smokes because she is used to it, and it helps her relax.  She has been smoking since living in India and can’t control the urge of it.    

“For me, I personally don’t have any problem with smoking on campus as long as I am not giving anyone trouble because I am aware some people have breathing problems or simply don’t like the smell of tobacco,” she said.   

Unnoticed by passersby, a no-smoking zone sign lays on the ground near the Senator Burns building at SAIT, emphasizing the campus policy. Photo by Jagjit Singh Sohal.

Other students say the policy is not being followed or enforced, and they often encounter people smoking around campus, especially near the entrances and exits of buildings.  

Jelyne Santos, a first-year business administration student says she hates the smell of cigarettes and covers her nose when she walks by the smoking zone

“When I arrive at school, I see a lot of students smoking in that area, and I see a bunch of cigarette butts on the floor.” she said. 

Uddamveer Singh, a second-year journalism student, says he does not smoke, and has not had any interaction with smokers at SAIT.  

Singh said he knows that SAIT is a smoke-free campus, and he regularly sees the sign outside the northern entrance that says so.  He said he is not aware of any other policies on smoking at SAIT, but he has a suggestion for the administration. 

 “Smoking zones should be made for smokers,” said Singh.   

“I know some people that smoke, and I also acknowledge their urge to smoke.”  

SAIT student Yujie Liu smokes in a no-smoking zone outside the Senator Burns Building on SAIT Campus in Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday March 6 2024, he is unaware of SAIT’s no-smoking policy. Photo by Jagjit Singh Sohal.
About Jagjit Singh Sohal 2 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Jagjit Singh Sohal is working as a writer for The Press in 2024.