Resources for Indigenous Community Members

Keeping Tobacco Sacred on a Smoke-Free Campus

On May 31, 2019, the University of Guelph (Guelph Campus) went smoke-free. However, section 5.1.1 of the Tobacco and Smoke-Free Policy (Guelph Campus) provides an exemption that covers smudging and the use of Traditional Medicines by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

5.1.1 In keeping with the exceptions in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, Smoking, burning or use of Traditional Medicines, including Tobacco Products, by an Indigenous person or persons accompanied by an Indigenous person for Indigenous spiritual or cultural purposes is permitted on Guelph Campus. Smoking and burning of Traditional Medicines is done in accordance with the University’s Smudging Procedure.

Traditional medicines and smudging are available for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students, staff and faculty at the Indigenous Student Centre (Federal Building, 620 Gordon Street) from 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday.

Read U of G's full Smudging Procedure. 



Resources and Information about Quitting

Programs and Supports:

Talk Tobacco is a free confidential program offering culturally appropriate support and information about quitting smoking, vaping and commercial tobacco use to First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Tobacco Program is part of the Indigenous Cancer Care Unit at Ontario Health working with First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to reduce and prevent commercial tobacco addiction. 

Health Canada Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program provides NRT to First Nations and Inuit clients. 

Informational Sheets


Did you know?

Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer and chronic disease. It’s always a good time to stop smoking! 

  • 20 minutes after quitting your heart rate and blood pressure will begin to return to normal.
  •  After 8 hours you can breathe easier.
  • After 24 hours your lungs and heart will be healthier.
  • After 48 hours you are nicotine free and your sense of taste and smell begin to return.
  • After 1 year your risk of heart disease is cut in half.
  • After 10 years your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.

Mental Health Resources

Stress can be a very uncomfortable feeling and many who are trying to quit or have quit may be tempted to turn back to smoking or vaping as a means to cope with stress and anxiety. Learn more about the effects of stress on smoking.

Resources for U of G Students:

Resources for U of G Employees

  • Employee Assistance Program (for faculty and staff), 1-800-265-8310
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to review their benefits coverage for psychological services under the extended health plan. 

Resources for Everyone

  • Crisis Text Line, text “UofG” to 686868
  • Call 1-844-HERE247 (1-844-437-3247) anytime to access addictions, mental health, and crisis services.
  • Hope for Wellness – immediate emotional support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, call 1-855-242-3310, or by online chat at
  • National Indian Residential School Crisis Line. Call 1-866-925-4419. Offers support to former residential school students and those affected. Available 24 hours.