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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is Trinity introducing a Tobacco Free Campus?

A.

  • Consideration for others: More than half of Trinity students report being affected by smoke outside their building
  • Cleaner campus. The Campus Maintenance Staff refers to cleaning cigarette butts as a scourge, in particular on cobblestones. During the 2018 #ButtVase campaign, 198 cigarette butts were collected outside the Hamilton in 8 hours in November
  • Healthier campus. People who don't smoke or are trying to quit are supported by this policy.

Q. Who decided Trinity should become tobacco free?

A. Permission was given by Board to introduce a tobacco free campus after a year long cross-Trinity consultation that received >10,000 interactions from members of the Trinity community and a pilot Tobacco Free Zones initiative that achieved an 83% reduction in smoking in the Zones.

A September 2018 plebescite of student opinions in which >1,400 students voted, found that 71% of students support Trinity becoming tobacco free. This vote is consistent with staff support of 75% and post-graduate support of 70%.

 

Q. Is anyone else doing this?

A. Yes. Athlone IT is completely tobacco free, NUI Galway and UCD have tobacco free zones.  Many other third-level institutions in Ireland are exploring becoming completely tobacco free. Over 1,900 in America already are.  The Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Ireland aims to “Promote tobacco free campuses for all third-level institutions".

Q. When will the policy take effect?

A. From the 6th of March 2019

Q. Who is responsible for ensuring the policy is respected?

A. We’re asking all members of the Trinity community to contribute to the policy being a success.  There will be ambassadors who will also walk the campus. We will support the policy with positive campaigns.  

Q. Is the university requiring that people quit tobacco products?

A. No. The university is requesting that people don't smoke on campus. For those people who choose to quit the use of tobacco products, Trinity will support them through the cessation programmes that have been offered for many years. 

Q. Who is affected by this policy?

A. All College employees, students, visitors and contractors are asked to comply with the policy.

Q. What should I do if I see someone smoking on campus?

A. Trinity can supply those interested with a leaflet on Tobacco Free Trinity. The easiest approach is simply to hand the person the leaflet. If you are comfortable speaking to the person, you can say: "Are you aware that this is a tobacco free campus? I ask you to please respect our policy and not smoke on campus."

Q. What will Trinity do to help employees and students who want to stop smoking?

A. College Health has run smoking cessation courses on a regular basis for over 12 years and will continue to do so. A number of supports outside Trinity are also available.  For details of all support go to https://www.tcd.ie/collegehealth/promotion/smoking/

Q. How will the tobacco-free policy be enforced?

A. There is no enforcement. We are are requesting compliance and encouraging all students and staff to support this policy by asking people to respect it.  Trinity has spent three years building consensus and encouraging open debate about the use of tobacco on campus.  The Tobacco Free Trinity consultation obtained >10,000 engagements from Trinity students and staff. This policy means:

  • People will be able to walk in and out of buildings without breathing smoke
  • Our beautiful campus will be cleaner and staff will not have to pick up butts (from between cobblestones is particularly unpleasant)
  • Our campus will be healthier and will support those who want to stop smoking as well as discouraging people from starting

Q. What if someone refuses to stop smoking?

A.  If you have asked someone to comply with the policy and they say no, please walk away and email health.promotion@tcd.ie. The Healthy Trinity: Tobacco Policy Committee will review your email.  

Q. How will Trinity tell visitors about the tobacco-free campus?

A. Signage and information screens will remind people of the policy.  There will be ongoing social media updates.  Tour operators have also been informed.

Q. Is Trinity trying to dictate people's lifestyle choices?

A. Very few people during the consultation on Tobacco Free Campus felt Trinity had no role in introducing a policy like this. Most concerns were about the feasibility of doing it. 

Q. What nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are available on campus?

A. Nicotine replacement products include nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, sprays etc. Anyone who would like to know more about NRTs should come to a stop smoking course, speak to staff in the Health Centre or speak to their pharmacist.  Because NRT is licensed as a drug, it cannot legally be offered at a discount. 

Q. How can I ask questions or address concerns that I have about the tobacco-free campus policy?

A. Any questions pertaining to the tobacco free policy can be submitted to Martina Mullin at health.promotion@tcd.ie

Q. Where are people allowed to smoke in Trinity

A. Provision for making has been in three smoking areas: Opposite the 24 Hour Reading Room in Kinsella Hall; Behind the Catering Complex: On the perimeter of College Park. These exceptions were made to accommodate those who raised issues with Trinity becoming completely tobacco free.

Q. Can I use e-cigarettes on campus?

A. Yes.  The use of e-cigarettes IS permitted in the zones.