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A Breath of Fresh Air - Institute of Technology Carlow announces new smoking policy

01/02/2018

A Breath of Fresh Air

Institute of Technology Carlow today announced it is to prohibit on-campus smoking from all of the main outdoor thoroughfares from next month. Smoking is to be restricted to three designated smoking shelters at strategic locations across the campus to create a smoke free environment around the main campus buildings. 

The health-led initiative, entitled ‘Smoke Less Campus’, is designed to provide a clean air environment for students and staff and will be implemented on National No Smoking Day (14th February). Its introduction follows a survey of more than 1,300 students and staff on the idea of introducing a smoke free campus.  Over 44% of the respondents were in favour of a smoke free campus and a further 41% supported the initiative, with a request for designated smoking shelters on campus. The Smoke Less Campus policy is a direct response to the 85% of staff and students who support a healthy air environment for staff, students, service users and visitors to Institute of Technology Carlow.

Under the policy, 'smoking' includes the use of electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic pipes or other such electronic nicotine delivery systems intended to simulate smoking.

The initiative has the full backing of the Institute’s Student’s Union. Its president, Lorna Fitzpatrick commented, “Institute of Technology Carlow Students’ Union fully supports the Smoke Less Campus Initiative. Students are very much in favour of this move because it will lead to a much healthier environment on campus. We have worked in tandem with the Institute to ensure there were new smoking shelters placed around the campus so that our students who smoke have areas to do so. We will be supporting students who do wish to quit and encourage anyone thinking of quitting smoking to talk to the nurse or ring the national quit helpline 1800 201 203”.

Amongst the many Institute of Technology Carlow students supporting the initiative are its cohort of sports students. International athletes Molly Scott and John Fitzsimons, Waterford senior hurler Colin Dunford and Republic of Ireland women’s soccer international Roma McLaughlin participated in a photo opportunity today to back the Smoke Less Campus policy.

Institute of Technology Carlow’s Smoke Less Campus initiative has also been welcomed by Ash Ireland, the country’s leading anti-tobacco advocacy organisation. The chairman of ASH Ireland, Dr. Patrick Doorley, said, “ASH Ireland would like to compliment all at Institute of Technology Carlow on the drive to reduce smoking on campus with the introduction of expanded smoke free areas. This initiative will assist in making smoking uncommon among students and staff and will, of course, greatly reduce tobacco waste litter. Institute of Technology Carlow can now become a smoke free leader in the third-level sector and this will ultimately reduce smoking prevalence and save lives. I now urge all involved to work towards a totally smoke free campus.”