Trinity College Students’ Union has decided to oppose the introduction of a smoking ban on the grounds of its campus.
The motion was passed for the union to actively oppose the ‘Tobacco-Free Trinity’ initiative at a SU Council meeting last month.
Trinity’s SU President Tom Lenihan said: “The decision was taken by referendum to not support the Tobacco Free Initiative and there was a very high turnout of around 4,000 students.”
“Some of the issues surrounding the initiative were enforcement, and where smokers end up going to smoke,” he added.
Controversy has arisen over the decision with Dr David McGrath, Director of the College Health Service, claiming that the wording of the question posed to students showed that it was not determinative of College policy.
The question that the students were asked in the Referendum was ‘Shall the Students Union Support the TFT Policy?’
He also raised the issue that the referendum results expressed the opinions of over 4000 students which is under a quarter of the total student population. Dr McGrath believes the views of staff had not been taken into consideration.
New research by Trinity’s Health Service on the smoking attitudes and habits of Trinity students showed that 82 per cent of students were non-smokers.
Only seven per cent were daily smokers and 11 per cent were occasional smokers.
The research also showed that smoking outside doorways was a significant problem with nearly half of all students reporting to have been affected by smokers at the entrances of buildings on campus.