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Healthy Trinity: Tobacco Free Zones

In July 2016, Trinity installed Tobacco Free Zones. In these zones, smoking is prohibited both indoors and outdoors. Trinity has introduced these zones after an extensive consultation in areas of College where complaints about smoking are most often made. We respectfully ask that people refrain from smoking
1. Out of consideration for other people who walk through, study or work in these areas
2. To encourage a cleaner campus
3. To make Trinity a healthier campus

After two years, there was 83% less smoking in the Zones than in 2016. Details here. After one year, there was 81% less smoking. Details here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is Trinity introducing Tobacco Free Zones?


  • 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.
  • Healthier campus. People who are trying to quit are supported by the Zones.

Q. Who decided this was a good idea?

A. Permission was given by Board to introduce the Zones after a year long cross-Trinity consultation that received >10,000 interactions from members of the Trinity community. Healthy Trinity: Tobacco Policy Group in partnership with the Students Union and Graduate Students Union proposed the Zones and are supporting their implementation.

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 1,200 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. The policy took effect on the 1st July 2016.  The zones were introduced for one year as a pilot initiative. 

Q. Who is responsible for ensuring the Zones are respected?

A. We’re asking all members of the Trinity community to contribute to the zones being a success.  There will be ambassadors who will also check the Zones. 

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

A. No. The university is saying that smoking and tobacco use will not be allowed in the Zones. 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. What are the borders of the tobacco-free Zones?

A. Areas are marked in pink on College maps and there are signs denoting the areas on campus. 

Q. Who is affected by this policy?

A. All College employees, students, visitors and contractors are required to comply with the policy. The policy will apply to everyone who is in the Zones. All visitors, including vendors, contract workers, etc., will be required to refrain from using tobacco products in the Zones.

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

A. Trinity can supply those interested with a leaflet on the Tobacco Free Zones . 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 zone? I ask you to please respect our policy and put your cigarette out or leave this zone with it."

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

A. Trinity Health Centre has run smoking cessation courses on a regular basis for over 10 years and will continue to do so. A number of supports outside Trinity are also available.  For details of all support go to

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

A. Trinity is asking for 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.  These three small zones have been introduced instead of a completely tobacco free campus in response to concerns raised by students and staff.  In these zones:

  • 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 in 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 won’t leave the Zone?

A.  If you have asked someone to leave and they say no walk away and please email Martina Mullin

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

A. Information screens, maps and signage will indicate the location of zones.  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.  Trinity is only asking people to refrain from smoking in the Zones. 

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.  Healthy Trinity: Tobacco Policy Group has tried. 

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

Q. Where are people allowed to smoke in Trinity

A. Smoking is allowed in all areas outside the three smoking zones.  There is a covered smoking area provided beside the Arts Building, opposite the 24 Hour Reading Room in Kinsella Hall.

Q. Can I use e-cigarettes in the Zones?

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