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News and Events: Tobacco Free Ireland Programme

Quality Improvement in Tobacco Free Campus Implementation Webinar

A ‘Quality Improvement in Tobacco Free Campus Implementation’ Webinar took place on Thursday 26th November 2020. The purpose of this webinar was to promote and re-energise the importance of tobacco free campus implementation; to encourage uptake and development of Tobacco Free Campus policies in health services that have not gone tobacco free and encourage compliance and sustainability in existing sites.

Martina Blake (National Lead for the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme) presented an overview of tobacco use and the state of tobacco control today. Her input included data on the annual impact of smoking on our health service and hospitalisations attributable to smoking as well as the impact of tobacco use on our ability to respond to COVID-19. There was discussion in relation to the staff time lost due to smoking breaks and absenteeism, patient and public dissatisfaction with tobacco use in our health service and deaths due to fires cause by tobacco in our health services. Leah Fitzsimons (Tobacco Free Campus Lead, TFI) then provided a summary of the 8 Global Quality Standards and innovative practices from the 2019 Tobacco Free Campus Bursary followed by examples of best practice in policy implementation delivered by Andy Cooney (Health Promotion Officer) from ‘Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda’. Frank Lynch (Clinical Nurse Manager) subsequently outlined how the policy is working in The National Forensic Mental Health Service, Dundrum. An interactive element followed, with group discussions to problem solve current challenges associated with compliance. The webinar closed following a plenary Q&A session.

The event was well attended with almost 80 participants in total from a range of services across the organisation as well as some external stakeholders.

Not Around Us

Ireland’s Tobacco Free Ireland strategy, sets a target for Ireland to have a smoking prevalence of less than 5% by 2025 (current rate is 17%). Two of the underpinning objectives running through the strategy are to:

  1. Protect children and denormalise tobacco use, and
  2. Offer help to quit tobacco use.

On World No Tobacco Day, May 2018, the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland (TFI) Programme hosted a conference in Farmleigh House, Co. Dublin with a variety of external partner agencies who are advocates for tobacco control. A number of workshops were held exploring ways in which partner agencies could help denormalise tobacco for the next generation. ‘Not Around Us’ was one of these projects. The Tobacco Free Limerick and ‘#notaroundus’ initiative helps bring Ireland another step closer to a Tobacco Free Ireland.

Limerick City and County Council is committed to supporting the priorities of key partners in Limerick including the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the implementation of the HSE’s tobacco-free campus policy. They recognise that tobacco-free environments should be the new norm in Ireland rather than the exception, with a strong emphasis on the protection of children.

Not Around Us is about promoting an environment where it is easier for those who smoke to quit and stay quit and to help de-normalise smoking for the next generation. A number of Not Around Us communication and awareness-raising resources were developed and used by community, statutory and private sectors in Limerick. These are to encourage adults who smoke not to smoke in public spaces where children, families and young people are gathered. Tobacco free environments and policies are well evidenced in the literature and help to:

  • reduce exposure to second hand smoke
  • moderate and reduce smoking
  • support cessation
  • reduce litter
  • raise awareness of the harms of smoking and,
  • the cessation supports available to those who wish to quit

Limerick Comhairle na nÓg played a pivotal part in collaborating with a number of agencies including Limerick City and County Council and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the development of Not Around Us resources.


To date, thirty-nine locations across Limerick are now signed up to Not Around Us and other counties in Ireland are already replicating the Not Around Us initiative in their communities.

The HSE has supported the further development of Not Around Us resources (signage and animated videos) to make them available to community, statutory and private groups nationally, who wish to make their public spaces tobacco-free. Links to a number of videos are available here:

For further information, contact tfi@hse.ie

Animated videos

Tobacco Programme Past Conferences & Events