SMOKING has been banned in the porch area of the Newman Building, outside the entrance to the Arts Cafe. Signs were placed outside the café during Orientation week , following complaints from students and staff throughout the past year.

Buildings and Services Facilities Manager, Aishling Kennedy explained that the move was taken in order to “do the right thing and stay up to date with current government policy”. Adding that there has been concern for non-smokers who also use the area, Ms Kennedy stated that the porch area “is problematic for non-smokers who are forced to inhale the smoke of others”.

Ms Kennedy stated that smokers will still be allowed to smoke in the seating area, situated to the left side of the Newman Building, which was constructed last year. In addition to this, smokers are being directed to the newly constructed tables standing underneath the concourse shelter.

Stating that these spaces are very open, Ms Kennedy explained that second hand smoke will disperse before being inhaled by passers-by, unlike in the sheltered porch area of the building. She denied that it is now too late to implement such a policy, stating that “we are being proactive in this matter and so should people using that area”.

Explaining that preventing second hand smoke in enclosed areas is a priority for the university, Ms Kennedy added that “it’s not just the Newman Building doing this, (the practice) is all over campus”.

Students and staff smoking in non-smoking areas are now liable to prosecution, and a fine of up to €3,000.