Local school board looking for feedback on revised smoking and vaping policy

June 22, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) is seeking public feedback on a revised board policy regarding a smoke-free and vape-free environment. 

The draft policy looks to maintain a smoke-free and vape-free environment for its students, staff, and others on school board property while also respecting the Indigenous cultural practices of the board’s students and staff. 

The policy is in accordance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA), which includes exceptions for the use of tobacco or other sacred medicines for traditional Indigenous cultural practices. 

The policy has been updated with language that better reflects the legislated requirements under the SFAO and how the board will accommodate the exceptions under the Act. The list of groups the policy applies to has been expanded to include all potential groups accessing school board facilities and property. 

When a member of the board’s Indigenous community requests to use tobacco or other sacred medicines for traditional Indigenous cultural purposes, an accommodation will be made with designated space, separated from any area where smoking is otherwise permitted. 

“Policy 208 is important to students, staff, parents, guardians, caregivers, and the community as everyone has a role in maintaining a smoke-free and vape-free working and learning environment while respecting the Indigenous cultural practice of the board’s students and staff,” wrote the UGDSB. 

Members of the Upper Grand District School Board community are invited to review the policy draft and submit online feedback at

The deadline for public input is Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.