Smoking on campus - what should happen?


Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying your summers, whether you’ve been here at Imperial or outside in the big wide world. 

As Officer Trustees, we’ve been in post for over a month now and have been working hard on getting ready for the new academic year. Those of you waiting on tenterhooks to hear what we’ve been up to will still have to wait in suspense a little longer! In the meantime, I wanted to share with you guys (in the name of transparency, which is a thing we’re doing) the results of the Smoking Snap-Poll we did this week and why we did it.

Firstly, thank you everyone for voting in our poll and sharing your opinions in the comment section on our Facebook pages. We had 748 votes in total with 219 voting “Yes”, 421 voting “no” and 108 voting “no, except for Beit Quad” to the question: “Should smoking be allowed on campus?” 

Why did we want this information and what happens now? 

We ran this poll so we can represent your views accurately to a College Working Group looking at Smoking Policy. Many staff and students have complained about second-hand smoke around campus and particularly around entrances to buildings. This has led the Working Group to consider a smoking-free policy on parts or all of our campus. 

This issue has come from the Working Group, not the Union (and certainly not me!). Previous to this I have not been involved, but I thought it was important to gauge opinion from as many students as possible. This information will be taken to the Working Group, so that they know the full extent of the impact of any decision made. It is imperative that any decision is not rushed into and that there is a comprehensive plan that remains open to feedback from students (and staff). 

It is my intention to ensure that any smoke-free policy has sufficient provision for smokers to continue to feel welcomed in the Union, whilst upholding the responsibility to promote healthy lifestyle choices to our members.

Finally, I would thank you once again for your input. This is the first of many spot polls we will be launching this year as part of our drive to engage students via technology. Sometimes we will provide the context in advance of polls, whilst on other occasions we will be seeking to capture opinion and outlining the origins afterwards. Prepare for many more!

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