DCU is planning on creating smoke-free zones across its three campuses, with smaller smoking shelters to be built within each campus.
According to maps made available online, there will be three smoking and vaping shelters across both the Glasnevin campus and St Patrick’s campus, with two on All Hallows.
On Glasnevin, they are planned to be located in car parks behind the O’Reilly Library, near sports pitches and opposite the Helix and Henry Grattan. On St Patrick’s, they will also be located within car parks beside the student accommodation, next to Block A and within car park 5 next to Block E. On All Hallows, they will be located within the two car parks on campus.
A majority of all three campuses will become smoke and vape free zones, with small areas where smoking and vaping will be permitted alongside the shelters.
The smoke-free campus initiative is currently in a consultation stage until October 30th, and the planned locations of shelters are still subject to change.
A referendum by DCU Students’ Union was held last year to decide whether or not the SU should lobby DCU to create no-smoking zones. The referendum was passed by 1,224 yes votes compared to 560 no votes.
Samantha Fahy, DCU’s sustainability manager, also said that 88 per cent of staff have also expressed that they are in favour of creating smoke-free zones across DCU campuses.
The enforcement of the no-smoking zones is going to be the most difficult part of the implementation, according to Fahy. She expects that a lot of it will come down to peer implementation, as well as people acknowledging the increased signage that will be brought in.
“We are not going to be heavy-handed on this. This is something that the community actually wanted to happen,” said Fahy.
Fahy explained that, alongside the health benefits of creating the zones, the amount of cigarette butts that end up littering the campus is another factor.
“They [cigarette butts] are the largest source of litter across our entire campus,” said Fahy.
Alongside these changes, DCU will be promoting supports for both students and staff to help them quit smoking starting on October 30th. These supports being provided by Northside Partnership, and will offer a six-week smoking cessation course as well as one-to-one QUIT clinics every Wednesday.
Image Credit: Tim Parkinson