TCDSU council removes stance on smoke-free campus

The vote arose from a procedural motion following a discussion

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) council tonight passed motion to remove its stance on smoke-free zones on campus.

A procedural motion arose out of a discussion on the policy ahead of a draft proposed tobacco restricted campus layout to be brought to College Board in the coming weeks. It was proposed by SU President Kevin Keane and seconded by Education Officer Alice MacPherson.

Following this a motion to remove the stance on Tobacco Free Trinity was proposed by Keane and seconded by MacPherson which was passed comfortably.

Speaking in favour of the motion, Keane argued that ahead of new proposals being brought to Board to restrict smoking outside of designated areas, the mandate was out of date and was no longer workable.

The former policy was proposed by former TCDSU Welfare officer Conor Clancy in the 2015/16 academic year, and was due to expire at the end of the current academic year. It mandated the SU to conditionally support smoke-free zones on campus if zones are specifically and individually agreed upon with the SU Welfare officer and and the SU President.

Trinity students voted against the introduction of a totally smoke-free campus in a referendum held in 2014, as noted in the council agenda, not permanent smoke free-zones which council notes is a “separate and new proposal.”

In April Trinity academics published a study to assist College in the development of a smoke-free campus. The study found that greater targeting of smoking prevention methods was needed. Dr. Gabrielle McKee of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity led the study.

Trinity introduced three tobacco free zones on campus in July 2016; the zones were located in Fellows Square, the Health Centre and the Sport Centre.

Additional reporting by Rory O’Neill and Sarah Meehan.