Health and well-being are priorities at the University of Waterloo. These ideals are embedded in our faculties, our research, and in our programs and initiatives. As part of our commitment to foster a healthy learning, working, and living environment, our campuses will become smoke-free on July 1, 2024. In doing so, we will be joining over 100 universities and colleges in Canada whose campuses are smoke-free.

Over the coming months, members of University administration will be engaging our community to provide education and outreach on this change to Policy 29. We understand that a smoke-free environment will be an inconvenience for some. This change means reducing unwanted and involuntary exposure to tobacco and passive smoke, as well as providing information and program support for those who are trying to stop smoking.

The use of tobacco for traditional Indigenous cultural or spiritual smudging ceremonies is protected in the Ontario Human Rights Code and will be exempt from any changes to this policy. The University will also continue to meet other accommodations as required under the Code.

As we transition, we will be communicating details of the change through email, signage, and online at where you can find smoking cessation supports, a frequently asked questions section, policy guidance, and ongoing updates. A draft of the revised policy will also be available on this website in early October. We welcome your comments for consideration. Please submit your thoughts via the web form no later than November 30, 2023.  

If you have questions about our transition to a smoke-free campus, visit the website or contact

Vivek Goel
President and Vice-Chancellor
Office of the President


2023 communications to graduate students