From left, Phelim Kelly, NUI Galway Students’ Union President; Rosemary James and Ashita Dutta, NUI Galway Student Cancer Society; Jimmy McGovern, NUI Galway Students’ Union Welfare Officer; Nadia van den Berg, NUI Galway Student Cancer Society; and Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, launch the new smoke-free zones outside the James Hardiman Library.
Jan 20 2016 Posted: 09:10 GMT

Two new smoke-free zones are launched outside some of the University’s busiest buildings

NUI Galway has introduced two smoke-free zones on campus. The new smoke-free zones are centred around two designated smoking shelters in the north and south campus, and cover some of the most popular buildings on campus, including the James Hardiman Library, the Arts Millennium Building, the Engineering Building, Áras Moyola and the Cairnes Building.

In 2013, a University-wide survey was carried out to gauge the campus community’s attitudes towards smoking at NUI Galway. While an outright ban on smoking was rejected, a majority of staff and students expressed their preference for restricting smoking to designated areas only. Since then, a working group of University staff and Students’ Union representatives has been working on designing and implementing the smoke-free zones. While it will take some time to build awareness about the new smoking restrictions, there is already a marked reduction in smoking at many building entrances.

The new smoke-free zones are supported by both the University and the Students’ Union, and members of the Student Cancer Society are helping to grow awareness around the campaign. Like many public places, smoking creates second-hand smoke and litter on the campus, in particular at the entrances to buildings. The new smoke-free zones are aimed at making the University a cleaner and healthier place for everyone to work and study. Signage on the new designated smoking shelters includes information on supports to quit smoking.

Commenting on the new smoke-free zones, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan said: “A healthy campus will deliver long-term benefits for all our community. One of the first steps is to establish smoke-free zones.  Students and staff are united in this particular initiative.”

For more information on why and where NUI Galway is going smoke-free, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/smokefree.

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