Wadham trials new ‘paternalistic’ smoking restriction

A Wadham second year told Cherwell: “ Such paternalism really isn’t in the spirit of Wadham, in my opinion."


Wadham will trial a new smoking policy for Trinity Term that limits the act to areas “immediately” around eight smoking bins. The college informed students of the new policy via an email on Tuesday.

According to the email, Wadham “conducted a consultation last term on its smoking policy.”

“As a result, Governing Body has decided that for a trial period lasting for all of Trinity Term, smoking on the main College site will be restricted to the immediate vicinity of the existing smoking bins.”

A map attached to the email marks the locations of the smoking bins, most of which are on the edge of campus. The email continues: “The College will be closely monitoring adherence to the new guidelines, and will review the smoking policy at the end of the term.

“It is essential that these new guidelines are fully respected. If they are not, the College will consider moving to a total smoking ban.”

The email also warned students that there is no smoking bin outside the MCR, “where many smokers currently choose to congregate.”

Wadham joins St Hugh’s college in trialling a smoking ban in Trinity, while seven colleges including St Edmund Hall and Mansfield have blanket bans on smoking.

St Hugh’s decision to trial a ban was criticised by some students as “ridiculous” and “parental.”

When Exeter announced plans for a ban that were later withdrawn, Exeter JCR Disabilities Rep Grace Tully told Cherwell: “Habitual smokers are aware of the drawbacks and danger of the habit, but our community gains nothing from physically and socially ostracizing those of us who do still smoke.”

A Wadham second year told Cherwell: “I’m annoyed at college for further attacking the rights of smokers. I do feel this is just the first step to an outright ban. Such paternalism really isn’t in the spirit of Wadham, in my opinion.”

Wadham SU declined to comment.


  1. Sounds good to me, the vast majority of us who don’t smoke shouldn’t have to put up with stinky cancerous fumes and I feel quite envious of the colleges that have this. I still don’t see what the problem with pushing people towards having to use artifical cigarettes or nicotine patches instead is. Such a rule wouldn’t be a ban on nicotine, just a way of stopping all the non-smokers have to put up with being forced to breath in who knows what! If it deters people from taking up the habit, so much the better!


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