Cigarettes and e-cigarettes will no longer be available to purchase on campus from Monday the first of September. The ban is a result of the UCD Health Promotion Committee’s proposal for a smoke free campus, diagnosis who suggested this to combat the high levels of student smokers.
The ban was passed by student referendum last semester by a vote of 55pc to 45pc. Although the UCD Campus currently has designated ‘smoke free’ areas, viagra such as the space in front if the Newman Building, the ban will eventually also prevent students from smoking anywhere on the 320 acres of campus grounds. Cigarettes previously sold at both the student Union shops on campus, as well as convenience stores on the grounds will no longer be available to purchase.
According to the national tobacco control office, smoking rates in Ireland are highest among young adults (18-34) and reaching levels as high as 30pc in the group 25-34. This leads to immense strain on the Irish health system, causing estimated expenditure of €2 billion per annum on tobacco related illnesses.
In the 2013 Eurostudent V survey it was found that 25pc of third level students in Ireland are smokers, with 11pc smoking on a regular basis. ASH, an anti-smoking lobby group that influenced the Health Board’s decision to suggest a ban, claim that smoking is the cause of 5,200 deaths per year in Ireland alone. The group also campaign for causes such as higher tobacco prices and prohibiting smoking in vehicles transporting children.
Opinions on the ban are highly mixed between both students and faculty. One student was concerned for the various businesses on campus. ‘If people are not able to smoke on campus during breaks and lunches, then they’ll just go somewhere where it’s not a problem’ says a second year student. Another issue is the enforcement of the ban. ‘Outside the Newman building the no-smoking notices are blatantly ignored, you only have to walk by the building to notice it’ claims this student, ‘I don’t think it’s right to banish people off campus every few hours just because they want a cigarette’.
However, not all views on the ban are negative. ‘It’s not exactly pleasant walking into every building through a haze of smoke,’ claims a second year arts student, ‘I usually try to find a different entrance rather than the front door because of it’.
Despite this controversy, the Student Union have claimed that they will support the student mandate as expressed in the election results last semester. Similar initiatives have been launched in third level institutions nationwide, with Maynooth University banning smoking in buildings on campus and on-campus accommodation. Student union leaders in TCD have supported a campus wide ban, but was narrowly defeated in a student referendum last year.