ASH Ireland takes this opportunity to congratulate all involved at Westport College of Further Education on its announcement today that the college campus will henceforth be smoke-free. To our knowledge, Westport College of Further Education is the first third level college in Ireland, or perhaps in Europe, to announce a smoke-free campus policy. We wish Westport College every success with this hugely important health initiative and we encourage other third level institutions to adopt a similar policy.
Dr Ross Morgan, Chairperson of ASH Ireland said today “ASH Ireland is particularly pleased with the announcement by Westport College of Further Education today; as we were the first organisation to propose such an initiative with Ireland’s third level sector, as far back as January 2011. In 2011 we contacted all third level colleges asking them to consider voluntarily introducing a smoke-free campus policy. This policy is in keeping with a major initiative undertaken by the third level sector in the United States, which has led to well in excess of 1,000 colleges having implemented a smoke-free campus policy. Some US Colleges have done this on a local rule basis, while others have secured the support of the state legislators”.
Dr Ross Morgan went on to say, “In 2011, ASH Ireland organised a seminar for third level colleges, designed to explore this initiative – and we have had meetings with many colleges in the sector who are now actively considering going smoke-free. We prepared a toolkit which has been forwarded to all colleges to assist them with the evaluation, planning and consultation required to implement such a policy. ASH Ireland is very aware of the power of any initiative which denormalises smoking behaviour.
ASH Ireland has been directly involved in lobbying for the ban on tobacco advertising, the ban on smoking in the workplace, the ban on marketing and display of tobacco products in retail outlets and more recently, for the introduction of legislation which bans smoking in cars transporting children. All of these initiatives including a smoke-free campus policy will assist in denormalising smoking and this in itself will assist smokers to quit and greatly assist young people in deciding not to experiment with tobacco products. We congratulate Michael Murphy, the Principal and all those involved in Westport College of Further Education on the announcement of the introduction of a smoke-free campus policy today.”
For contact: ASH Ireland: 0818-305055
Wally Young, Young Communications: 087-2471520