Smoking on Campus

SFU is dedicated to promoting healthy campuses. The health risks associated with smoking and secondhand smoke are well-documented. 

Tobacco Smoking

  • Tobacco smoking is prohibited within 10 metres of any building. 
  • On the Burnaby Campus, this includes Convocation Mall, the surrounding walkways, all courtyards, indoor parking lots, transit shelters, and anywhere else within 10 metres of a building.
  • Tobacco sales and advertising are banned on all SFU campuses.
  • Cigarettes must be extinguished and disposed of in designated receptacles such as ash urns.

Tobacco Smoking Locations

Some provisions have been made to accommodate smokers outside the 10 metre buffer zone.

Additionally, ash urns and smoking pavillions (shelters from rain and snow) are located across campus. The grey, stainless steel ash urns have been bolted in place to effectively communicate the smoking locations.

Cannabis Smoking

Cannabis use is not currently addressed in University policies. Therefore, with federal legalization of cannabis on October 17th, 2018, a number of University policies are currently under review.

Policy revisions are set to be proposed this fall and at the forefront of the policy planning is responsible usage and eduation of all university community members. SFU will be holding a public consultation on the proposed approach before presenting the policies for final approval by the Board in early 2019.

Temporary Cannabis Smoking Locations

In advance of new policy approval, the University will permit cannabis smoking on Burnaby campus at two temporary designated cannabis-specific outdoor smoking areas, separate from those in use for smoking tobacco. These locations can be found here. Vancouver and Surrey campuses will not have designated cannabis smoking locations as these campuses are located in urban centres dictated by municipal regulations.

Cannabis Safety

  • Regulations prohibiting impairment in the workplace by alcohol, drugs, and other substances remain unchanged under WorkSafe BC's Occupational Health & Safety Regulations (Section 4.20) and the Workers Compensation Act (Section 116, 2d).
  • It is illegal for people under the age of 19 years to possess cannabis. Adults over the age of 19 years can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place. 
  • The health impacts of cannabis include dizziness, impaired memory, disorientation and impairment of motor skills.
  • Drug impaired driving is against the law.

For more information on cannabis visit:


Why isn’t all SFU smoke-free?

Although the negative effects of tobacco use are well known, some individuals continue to smoke and smoking remains a legal activity.  Areas have been identified where smoking may continue without smokers having to leave Burnaby Mountain.  However, SFU Surrey and SFU Vancouver are effectively no smoking campuses.

If you're a smoker and want to quit

Quitting smoking can be difficult, but there are many options.

  • Do you have friends that also want to quit? Why not support each other and quit together, or join a support group.  
  • Check out online resources like QuitNow is the free quit smoking program of the Government of British Columbia, delivered by the British Columbia Lung Association.
  • Find more resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Different methods work for different people. Take a look at your options, talk with your physician, and decide what works best for you!

UniverCity and Residence

Residences have long been smoke-free and the 10 metre, tobacco smoke-free zone around Residence buildings applies. Similar to the rest of Burnaby campus, cannabis will only be permitted at the two designated cannabis areas.

Note that the 10 metre smoking zone, and sales and advertising restrictions do not apply to UniverCity lands and businesses (e.g., the Cornerstone Building). On UniverCity lands tobacco smoking is prohibited within 3 metre of doors and windows and 10 meters of air intakes.

How will smoking restrictions be monitored?

This is our campus and we all need to do our part to communicate the restrictions. Education is preferred over enforcement. Members of the community who see people continuing to smoke in non-smoking areas are encouraged to provide information about the designated smoking zones and this web site. Campus Security staff will also monitor the non-smoking zones and provide education.

Questions? Contact:


Each summer the combination of dry summer weather and the improper disposal of cigarettes cause bark mulch and grass fires at the Burnaby campus.

If you do smoke, ensure that your cigarette is extinguished and disposed of properly in designated ash trays or ash urns.


In case of a fire, call Campus Security immediately at 778-782-4500.

  • Stay on the line with the dispatcher and provide the location and size of the fire.
  • Keep a safe distance away from the fire and alert others.
  • Await the arrival of Campus Security responders.

Visit our fire response procedures page for more information.