9th November, 2016: ASH Ireland today (Wednesday) organised a seminar at the Royal College of
Physicians, Dublin to explore ways of expanding Ireland’s smokefree third level campus sector.
Both Westport College and Athlone IT are already campus smokefree and both UCD and Trinity
College have commenced the ‘going smokefree’ process. Representatives of the third level sector
attended the seminar from all around the country with presentations from, Westport College,
Athlone IT, Trinity College and UCD.
Speaking at the seminar this morning, Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said, “This
seminar is building on the decisions already taken by Westport College and Athlone IT to implement
a smokefree campus policy.
“We want to encourage and assist other colleges in pursuing a ‘smokefree campus’ policy. In the
United States over 1700 third level colleges have gone smokefree and will remarkable success.
“Ireland has been a world leader in the fight against tobacco for well over a decade and we now
have an opportunity to take the lead in Europe with this initiative. Denormalisation is a key issue in
the fight against introducing a ‘smokefree policy’ in key locations is key factor reducing smoking
prevalence. We must also remember that tobacco waste is our biggest urban waste, so smokefree
campuses will reduce cost and create a much healthier environment for all.”
Also speaking at the seminar today, were Micheál Martin, TD, who as Minister for Health introduced
the workplace smoking ban; anti tobacco campaigner Professor Luke Clancy and Martin Murphy,
Stadium Director at the smokefree Aviva Stadium.
Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD commented, “The Smoking Ban still stands as an example of
what legislators can achieve for public health if we do the ground work, explain what we’re doing to
the public and then face down the vested interests.
“However, one important thing we need to guard against is any sense that the smoking ban was any
sort of an end point in the battle against tobacco. It was an important breakthrough, but the
tobacco industry continues to work very hard and spend huge sums of money to find new
customers, and develop new ways to get those customers hooked on consuming their products.
“All those of us in politics who are interested in developing public health need to remain vigilant. I
am particularly grateful to the team at ASH for their work in keeping these issues at the forefront of
debate and I look forward to working with them into the future to help Ireland keep leading the way
in the battle against tobacco.”
Today’s seminar is in keeping with ASH Ireland’s specific aims that direct its work towards the impact
of disease, disability and death caused by tobacco use in Ireland. This work is especially important as
Ireland moves toward the target date of 2025 for Ireland to become tobacco free.
Available for further comment and interview: Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman.