Smoke-free Campuses Third-level institutions Survey

Background
A target date of 2025 has been set for Ireland to become tobacco free, i.e., less than 5% of the population smoking . A key recommendation of Tobacco Free Ireland is to “promote tobacco free campuses for all third-level institutions in consultation with key stakeholders”. (Department of Health, 2013)

Establishing smoke-free campuses in third-level institutions is an important step in de-normalising smoking and acting as a deterrent to young people first taking up smoking while in third-level education.

In order to record the number of third-level institutions that have implemented or plan to implement a smoke-free campus in Ireland, ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation conducted a survey of third-level institutions in Ireland.

Methods

Sample
A list of Health Promotion Officers or other individuals responsible for healthy campus life was identified by internet research and referrals. Using this list, ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation emailed the contacts in the third-level institutions with a questionnaire in relation to their policies on a smoke-free campus.

Response Rate
A total of twenty-seven third-level institutions around the island of Ireland were identified and sent questionnaires via email between April and May 2019. Ten full responses were received from the first round and one additional response was received from the second round. No other responses were received thereafter, giving a total of 11 out of 27 responses (41% response rate).

Data requested

Each questionnaire to the third-level institutions included the following questions:

1. Is your University/College/IT a smoke-free campus? (if no, please skip to question 9, N/A will apply for intervening questions)?

2. If yes to the above, in what year did it implement a smoke-free campus?

3. Is the smoke-free campus enforced? If so, please describe how.

a. Please describe the levels of compliance and describe how this is measured’

4. Do you know how many of your students/staff smoke?

5. How welcoming are or were the students and staff to having a smoke-free campus?

6. What were the top 5 complaints/challenges against implementing a smoke-free campus? (e.g. where do smokers go, how will it be enforced?)

7. What were the top 5 benefits? (e.g. Reduction in litter in smoke-free campus?)

8. Have there been any unintended or unforeseen consequences arising from having a smoke-free campus? (e.g. people congregating in one area just outside the campus premises to smoke, etc.)

9. If the University/College/IT has not introduced smoke-free campus yet, is it planning on becoming a smoke-free campus and if so, by what year?

10. If the University/College/IT is not planning on implementing a smoke-free campus, what are the reasons behind this?

Results

1. Is your University/College/IT a smoke-free campus?

Of the eleven responses received, three third-level institutions replied that they had implemented a smoke-free campus (11% of all third-level institutions or 27% of those that responded). The remaining eight third-level institutions that replied stated that they did not have smoke-free campuses.

2. If yes to the above, in what year did it implement a smoke-free campus?

All three third-level institutions that had implemented a smoke-free campus had initiated it in different years – 2013, June 2015, and 2019

3. Is the smoke-free campus enforced? If so, please describe how.

Compliance is enforced in two out of three third-level institutions that have smoke-free campuses. In the first of these institutions, there are student and staff inductions and thereafter Estate and Support Services actively enforce the policy.

The second institution enforces compliance by having a blue line that everyone is asked to go outside the line if they wish to smoke. At the third institution, compliance is not enforced but rather requested by ambassadors who circuit the campus four times per week reminding people of the policy.

3a. Please describe the levels of compliance and describe how this is measured’?

Of the three third-level institutions with smoke-free campuses, one reported an 83% compliance to tobacco free zones, the second reported that compliance is normally very good and that CCTV is used to observe boundaries and anyone observed breaching the policy is spoken to and asked to move away from the campus.

The final of the three institutions reported that compliance is not measured but that smokers congregate at the gates outside the designated blue line so people have made the permanent switch to smoking off campus.

4. Do you know how many of your students/staff smoke?

Only one of the eleven institutions that responded to the questionnaire provided information on this question. They provided details of student smoking but stated they do not have data on staff.

5. How welcoming are or were the students and staff to having a smoke-free campus?

All three third-level institutions that had implemented a smoke-free campus reported a generally welcome approach to smoke-free campuses by the student and staff body. One institution reported that initially the support was neutral 50:50 but rose to 71% by 2019.

6. What were the top 5 complaints/challenges against implementing a smoke-free campus?

Two of the three third-level institutions that had implemented smoke-free campuses provided data on this question. A summary of the complaints/challenges faced can be seen below:

• Where do residents go at night
• What about people using the 24-hour library. If they go off-campus they can’t get back on
• What about banquets and conferences on campus
• What about on-campus pub
• What about visitors or tourists who visit the campus?
• Shelter for smokers
• How to enforce the policy, deal with non-compliance
• Whether to include vaping

7. What were the top 5 benefits?

Two of the three third-level institutions that had implemented smoke-free campuses provided data on this question. A summary of the benefits reported can be seen below:

• Opportunity to raise smoking as an issue when people are becoming addicted rather than in 20 years’ time (most 20-year olds are 40 before they stop)
• Clean campus
• Fresh air
• Obtain budget for health promotion in general
• Healthier workplace
• Nice to walk in the doors without having to walk through a crowd of smokers as happened in the past
• More support/promotion of quitting
• People report they have cut down/quit
• It came in time to prevent the use of vaping on campus, before this habit became so commonplace

8. Have there been any unintended or unforeseen consequences arising from having a smoke-free campus

All three third-level institutions that had implemented smoke-free campuses reported consequences arising from having a smoke-free campus.
Some of these consequences are summarised below:

• Cohort of undergraduate students who were not interested in the policy and continued to smoke
• Students congregating just outside the designated smoke-free campus and smoking there – often nearby other businesses, buildings and hotels
• ‘Hidden’ areas where smoking takes place around campus
• Cigarette ends, coffee cups and other litter accumulating in these areas where smokers are congregating

9. If the University/College/IT has not introduced a smoke-free campus yet, is it planning to and if so, by what year?

Eight of the eleven third-level institutions that had responded reported that they had not implemented a smoke-free campus. Of these eight:

• Two stated they were planning to implement smoke-free campuses in the 2019/2020 academic year
• Four stated they were in the early development/consultation process of implementing a smoke-free campus
• The remaining two had ambitions to one day become smoke-free campuses but had no plans in place yet


10. If the University/College/IT is not planning on implementing a smoke-free campus, what are the reasons behind this?

Some of the reasons reported by third-level institutions are as follows:

• Staff would resist it
• Smokers find it discriminatory
• The institution fears that it could not attract future students
• Where would the smokers go?
• No security to enforce it
• Student union shop sells cigarettes
• Students union had no interest in pursuing it when raised
• Other issues of higher priority taking precedence

Summary, Conclusion, Recommendations

Of the 27 third-level institutions surveyed during the period May – June 2019, 41% responded (n=11).

• 11% (n=3) reported that their campuses were smoke-free

• 7% (n=2) reported that they were planning to implement a smoke-free campus in the 2019/2020 academic year)

• 15% (n=4) reported that they were in the early development/consultation stages of implementing a smoke-free campus

• 7% (n=2) reported that they had no plans in place yet to implement a smoke-free campus but stated they hoped to achieve it one day

E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products: An evidence review by the Irish Heart Foundation and Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Heart Foundation continuously monitors international research on smoking-related issues to identify new and better ways to reduce smoking rates. As part of this work, the Irish Heart Foundation partnered with the Irish Cancer Society to carry out an extensive review of emerging research regarding e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTP). Having considered the available evidence and the views of the major international bodies such as the World Health Organisation in relation to these products, we must urge caution in relation to e-cigarettes and HTP.

Although it is generally accepted that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, there is insufficient research to date on their long-term impact on users. Several studies have also highlighted that they are less effective than other smoking cessation tools at helping people quit for good. The Irish Heart Foundation is also deeply concerned about how a whole new generation of children are at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine due to cynical marketing tactics directed at them by e-cigarette brands.

You can read the full paper here – Position paper on e-cigarettes and HTP ICS and IHF and view the accompanying infographic here – Infographic e-cigarettes.

Interview with the Journal.ie on enforcement of no smoking campus at Beaumont Hospital

Dr. Patrick Doorley, Chairperson of ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation, spoke with the online news website theJournal.ie on the issue of Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital anti-smoking campus policy not being enforced or adhered to.

The article was published on the 22nd of April 2019 and you can read the article here – https://www.thejournal.ie/beaumont-hospital-smoking-4598194-Apr2019/

ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation joins WHO in rejecting Philip Morris-funded “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World”

28/02/2019, Dublin, Ireland – ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation welcomes the World Health Organization (WHO)’s position to reject working with the Phillip Morris International (PMI)-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW). WHO’s statement follows FSFW’s recent outreach to the WHO Executive Board (WHO EB) regarding potential partnerships.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, said at the 144th Session of the WHO EB that WHO remains committed to the full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), a global treaty mandating states to, among others, protect their governments from interference by the tobacco industry.

ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation is also calling on governments and researchers to reject funding from entities funded by the tobacco industry like FSFW. “We join the WHO in calling on governments and research institutions to shun any prospect of receiving support or research funding from the tobacco industry as well as from those furthering its interests. FSFW is entirely funded by PMI which continues to earn billions at the expense of those who fall prey to tobacco addiction. Our concern is that FSFW effectively operationalizes PMI’s corporate affairs strategy to further PMI’s business interests which include the promotion of its heated tobacco products, a market which PMI seeks to dominate,” said Dr. Patrick Doorley, Chairperson of ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation

The WHO FCTC, the world’s first global health treaty, states: “In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law.”

Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP), a global tobacco industry watchdog, initiated an open letter supported by over 300 organizations and experts to challenge FSFW’s move to reverse WHO’s 2017 warning that governments and the public health community should not partner with FSFW.

On February 6, STOP welcomed WHO’s reiteration of its position and “urged researchers and governments currently being approached by FSFW to also recognize that FSFW has no place, either in public health science or at the policy table.”

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[info@ash.ie]

Contact:

Mark Murphy
Advocacy Officer
Irish Heart Foundation
Email: mmurphy@irishheart.ie Tel: 01 634 6948

Press release WHO PMI

Tobacco industry-funded organization is not a partner of public health

Date: 28/02/2019

Recipient: Department of Health

Re: Tobacco industry-funded organization is not a partner of public health

We, ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation, a group that advocates for reduced tobacco use and associated disease, disability and death, join almost 300 organizations and experts from around the world in welcoming the World Health Organization (WHO)’s reiteration that “WHO will not partner with the Foundation (for a Smoke-Free World [FSFW]). Governments should not partner with the Foundation and the public health community should follow this lead.”

This reiteration was made in response to FSFW’s outreach to the WHO Executive Board recently. FSFW is an entity funded entirely by Philip Morris International (PMI), which has a “known history of funding research to advance its own vested interest.”

With a whopping $1-billion committed funding from PMI, FSFW is offering to fund research on agriculture, economics, and medical science, including so-called smoking alternatives such as electronic nicotine delivery systems (including IQOS, a device PMI aggressively markets).

As a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Irish government is obliged to protect its public health and tobacco control policies against tobacco industry interference under Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC. Compliance with this treaty provision requires governments to, among others, reject contributions and partnerships from the tobacco industry and those furthering its interests like FSFW.

The tobacco industry is a peril to the health and welfare of the Irish public. The tobacco industry has a long-established record of blocking, delaying or diluting any kind of tobacco control policy that is aimed at reducing the prevalence of smoking in Ireland. ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation will continue to advocate for increased tobacco taxation, a greater level of investment in smoking cessation support services and additional tobacco control measures.

Only this month, another powerful tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT), announced its latest global tobacco marketing strategy—promote its vaping products in Formula One. In the past, such a tie-up to promote cigarette brands had facilitated worldwide exposure of tobacco products to millions of people due to Formula One’s “considerable appeal among youth and young adults.”

It is in this new era of global marketing strategies by an industry whose addictive, lethal products kill millions of people that we are urging your office to be vigilant about preventing industry interference including the PMI-funded FSFW. We also urge your office to reject funding from any entity or research funded by the tobacco industry and those furthering its interests.

Likewise, we appeal to your office to send a letter to the Health Research Board and other similar research institutes and educational institutions to warn them that research results from the tobacco industry and those funded by it such as FSFW must be rejected or disregarded by the government.

We must not be complicit in any act that supports an industry determined to undo the public health gains that took years of hard work to achieve. We look forward to working with you on effective measures to protect health policies from tobacco industry interference.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Doorely,

Chairperson, ASH Ireland, Irish Heart Foundation

ASH Letter to Government WHO PMI

New research on E-cigarettes in the New England Journal of Medicine: Dr. Patrick Doorley interview with LMFM Radio

Dr. Patrick Doorley, Chairperson of ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation spoke with the east coast local radio station LMFM about the new piece of research in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that E-cigarettes were more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy, when both products were accompanied by behavioural support.

Dr. Doorley provided context and gave an insight into the new piece of research, along with discussing ways to quit smoking.

The interview was broadcast live on the Michael Reade show on the 1st of February but you can find a link to the audio of the show here.

To listen back to the interview with Dr. Patrick Doorley, please click on the audio below.

Letter published in Irish Times on Vaping and Health

Dr. Patrick Doorley, Chairperson of ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation submitted a letter to the Irish Times in response to an article on Vaping and Health on the 11th of February. The letter was published on Monday the 18th of February in the letters section of the Irish Times.

You can find the link to the letter here – https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/vaping-and-health-1.3795521