The Wexford Campus of Carlow IT has announced that a ban on smoking outdoors around the campus will be introduced next month.
Smoking will be restricted to two designated smoking shelters at the Summerhill Road and Hill Street locations to create a smoke-free environment around the campus buildings.
Dr. Karen Hennessy, Head of the Wexford Campus who made the announcement, said the health initiative called 'Smoke Less Campus' is designed to provide a clean air environment for students and staff and will be implemented on October 4.
The Wexford ban follows a successful Smoke Less Campus introduced by IT Carlow in its Carlow campus last February which was warmly welcomed by students and staff, with little fuss or resistance, according to Dr. Hennessy.
That campaign was this week awarded the overall Health and Wellbeing Award 2018 by Public Sector Magazine.
'With the exception of one or two small incidences in the first few days, the students and staff at our Carlow campus really embraced the change. Such was the success of the initiative there that the Wexford campus students requested a smoke-free campus and the Smoke Less Campus initiative is our response to that request.'
The ban follows a survey of more than 1,300 students and staff in the Wexford and Carlow campuses with 44% of the respondents in favour of a smoke-free campus and a further 41% supporting the initiative, with a request for smoking shelters on campus.
Under the new policy, smoking includes the use of electronic cigarettes, cigars or pipes and any electronic nicotine delivery systems intended to simulate cmoking.
The smoking prohibition has the backing of the Institute's Students Union whose president Richard Morrell said: 'Students are very much in favour of this move because it will lead to a much healthier environment on campus. We will be supporting students who do wish to quit and encourage anyone thinking of quitting smoking to talk to the nurse or ring the national quit helpline on 1800201203.'
The anti-tobacco organisation ASH Ireland welcomed the Carlow IT initiative saying it will assist in making smoking uncommon among students and staff and will greatly reduce tobacco waste litter.
'Institute of Technology Carlow has now become a smoke free leader in the third level sector', its chairman Dr. Patrick Doorley said.