Trinity College Dublin are set to establish a “tobacco free” campus after a plebiscite vote.
Students voted 70.56 per cent in favour of a smoke free campus, with a low turnout of approximately 8 per cent.
Campuses such as Carlow IT in 2017 have also voted for a smoke free campus or large “smoke free zones” as a health initiatives. Athlone IT is also totally tobacco free and NUI Galway and UCD have several tobacco free zones.
The idea is that ambassadors are entrusted to check the smoke free zones and that the campus community help in enforcing the rules.
Permission was given by Board to introduce the Zones after a year long cross-Trinity consultation that received greater than 10,000 interactions from members of the Trinity community.
TCD previously had tobacco free areas introduced in 2016 which, according to Trinity News caused an “81 per cent drop in smoking in the zones from July 2016 to April 2017”.
Generally, students on the Glasnevin campus in DCU agree that a similar initiative should follow suit in the university. A Twitter poll by The College View concluded that out of 66 people 62 per cent would be in favour of a smoke free campus.
Multimedia student Chloe Finlay said it would be a good idea to have a smoke free campus, as “If you don’t see people doing it you don’t want to.”
“Would there be any resources for quitting smoking in college?” said first year student Gerard Hanaphy. “It seems like a good idea but I would like to see how other colleges react.”
The justification for a tobacco free campus was for the consideration for others as over half of Trinity students reported being affected by smoke outside their buildings. The objective is to support a cleaner campus and also a healthier campus, as well as quitters to be motivated by the no smoking zones.
The vote for a smoke free university in Trinity had a turn out of 1,453 voters out of the total 17,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. There was a total valid poll of 1,447 students.
“This vote was in no way advertised enough. I didn’t see one poster, or flyer and maybe only 1-2 social media posts. This is something that I would have wanted to have a vote on but I simply was not informed that this vote would have the impact that it would have,” said a final year Trinity student and city campus resident, who wished to remain anonymous.
“The percentage of people that did vote is not large enough at all to be reflective of the public opinion yet is still being advertised as a landslide result for a tobacco free campus,” they added.
DCU’s former VP for Welfare and Equality Podge Henry said last year he would like to see such policies introduced in DCU: “I would love to see DCU follow the steps of IT Carlow as not only does it clean up the campus, but also reduces the intake of second hand smoke.”
By Róise McGagh
Image Credit: Alison Clair