UL to introduce designated “smoke-free” zones on campus

The smoke-free zones are set to be introduced as early as this month

The University of Limerick (UL) is to introduce designated “no smoking” zones on campus.

Dr Desmond Fitzgerald, UL President, aims to make the university a smoke-free campus, with the smoke-free zones set to be introduced as early as this month. The full details are still being finalised.

In addition to the introduction of smoke-free zones, UL will be offering support programmes for students and staff who wish to quit smoking. According to the Limerick Leader, in a speech delivered to graduating students last week, Dr. Fitzgerald said: “This is a programme close to my heart, through this initiative we aim to create a model of excellence and to promote a healthy environment in which to develop the minds and bodies of our students.”

Currently, UL functions under a “smoke-free” policy where staff and students have the right to study in smoke-free environments. The college has also removed tobacco products from shops and vending machines on campus. The new policy also prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars or electronic nicotine delivery systems in prohibited areas.

UL has joined a growing list of universities and other higher education institutes in Ireland who have sought to reduce the presence of smoking on their campuses. Trinity introduced three such zones in July 2016: the Lloyd/Sports Centre zone, the Day Nursery/Health Centre zone and Fellows’ Square. A covered designated area for smoking was introduced on the Ussher Podium beside the Arts Block and outside the 24 Hour Reading Room in Kinsella Hall.

In 2016, the Trinity Board gave permission to introduce the smoke-free zones. The “Healthy Trinity: Tobacco Policy Group”, in partnership with the Students’ Union (SU) and Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), proposed the zones.

Cian Mac Lochlainn

Cian Mac Lochlainn is an Economics and Politics student, and a Contributing Writer for Trinity News.