College relaunches tobacco-free campus initiative

Healthy Trinity Ambassadors will return to College from November 14 to prevent students smoking in tobacco-free areas of campus

College have announced the relaunch of the Tobacco Free Trinity initiative.

The relaunch will see the introduction of new Healthy Trinity Ambassadors and a review of its e-cigarette policy.

In an email to staff and students, the chairs of Healthy Trinity reiterated that College is a tobacco free campus, with “three small exceptions”, these being the Kinsella Hall plinth, the area along the cricket pitch, and outside the launderette near the Dining Hall.

The relaunched initiative will reintroduce Healthy Trinity Ambassadors from November 14 to prevent smoking in tobacco-free areas. According to the email, smoking on campus has “somewhat increased” since College closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Between October 10 and November 9, Healthy Trinity Ambassadors observed 158 smokers during 75 trial checks, an increase from previous checks.

Healthy Trinity Ambassadors, students employed by Healthy Trinity, can ask students to stop smoking in tobacco-free areas. Between May 2016 and February 2020, Ambassadors observed 2,909 people smoking and reminded them of the policy, leading to an 80% reduction in smoking on campus over approximately four years.

Under the relaunch of the Tobacco Free Trinity initiative, Healthy Trinity will also review their current tobacco and e-cigarette policy. According to the current policy, e-cigarettes are not explicitly banned outdoors on campus, but “in line with the prohibition of combustible cigarettes in all indoor areas, the use of e-cigarette indoors is also prohibited”.

In partnership with the HSE, the College Health Service will also run its next anti-smoking workshops from 18 January 2022.

The College Health Service have attempted to reduce on-campus smoking since 2013.

In 2014, students initially voted against making Trinity tobacco-free, which saw the Health Service proposing to introduce smoking shelters prior to going tobacco free or going tobacco free with shelter zones as a compromise. Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) rejected the proposals.

TCDSU and the College Health eventually reached an agreement in 2016 to create tobacco-free zones approved by the TCDSU Welfare officer and TCDSU president.

In September 2018, 70.6 percent of students voted in favour of Tobacco Free Trinity in a TCDSU referendum.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News and a Junior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Features Editor