Holy smokes!

It’s unheard of today, but up until the mid-1980s, it was common to see students and faculty members puffing away on cigarettes in Capilano College classrooms and offices.

Archival images of smoking in meetings and classrooms

Smoking in public spaces and workplaces was only banned in Vancouver in 1986, with the ban being extended to restaurants and cafés 10 years later. By 2008, smoking was prohibited in public spaces province-wide.

Longtime employee, Al Hovden, who was a student here in the 1970s, recalls: “There were gold tin-foil ashtrays on every student’s desk and the classrooms were often full of smokers, including instructors. Staff and administrators smoked in their offices as well.”

Today, smoking on campus is prohibited indoors and within a 7.5-metre radius of doors, open windows and air intakes, and there are designated areas for smokers.

“I can only imagine how non-smokers must have suffered,” says Hovden, who is a former smoker.

With cannabis now legal in Canada, the University is working on a new smoking and vaping policy, which will take effect in early 2019. In the meantime, in case you’re wondering, recreational use of cannabis is not permitted on campus.

Written by: Shannon Colin