Policy directory


Date first approved:

8 May 1998

Date of effect:

8 May 1998

Date last amended:

22 April 2016

Date of Next Review:

22 April 2021

First Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Manager Work Health and Safety



Darren Smith, Manager Work Health and Safety

Responsible Division & Unit:

WHS Unit

Human Resources Division

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

Campus Access and Order Rules

Student Conduct Rules

University Code of Conduct

Workplace Health & Safety Policy

Relevant Legislation &

External Documents:

Smoke-Free Environment Act, 2000 (NSW)
Smoke-Free Environment Regulation, 2000 (NSW)

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW)

Protection of the Environment (Operations) Act, 1987 (NSW)

National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018

NSW Tobacco Strategy 2012-2017


Public – accessible to anyone

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1 Purpose of Policy

  • 1. The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees, students and visitors by establishing a smoke-free University at all campuses and facilities as well as activities and events. This includes compliance with Smoke-Free Environment and Work Health and Safety Acts and Regulations.

2 Definitions


Definition (with examples if required)

Authorised Person

As defined in the Campus Access and Order Rules.

Second-Hand Smoke

Smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes as well as smoke that has been exhaled, or breathed out, by the person smoking.

Passive smoking

When non-smokers are exposed to second- hand smoke.

Personal vaporiser

A personal vaporiser is a device that:

    a) is capable of being used to deliver a substance into an individual’s body when the individual inhales through the device, and

    b) has 1 or more of the following parts:

        i. a battery

        ii. a cartridge or container to store a liquid, vapour or gas

        iii. an electric heating element.

        iv. For example electronic cigarettes or ‘e-cigarettes’. Asthma inhalers and other similar medical devices approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration are not defined as personal vaporisers for the purposes of this policy.


The action or fact of emitting smoke, giving off steam or vapour from a tobacco product or personal vaporiser. Note: This Policy does not authorise the smoking or consumption of any substance prohibited by law.

Tobacco products

Includes all tobacco, cigarette, cigar, water-pipe or any other product containing tobacco designed for human consumption or use.

University property

All University buildings, facilities or property owned, leased or operated by UOW. This includes campus grounds, facilities or vehicles that are the property of UOW.

University vehicles

All University owned or leased cars, buses, vans, tractors, mowers, aircraft and boats.

3 Policy Context

  • 1. NSW Health advises that smoking is a leading cause of death and illness in New South Wales resulting in around 5,300 deaths and 46,000 hospitalisations each year. Additionally, exposure to second-hand smoke also causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.
  • 2. The University of Wollongong recognises that the use of tobacco products and personal vaporisers on University property is detrimental to the health and safety of students, employees, contractors, tenants and visitors.
  • 3. Achieving a smoke-free University requires support from all members of the University community. In order to maintain awareness, the University will periodically communicate the requirements of the Policy to students, employees, contractors, tenants, and visitors.

4 Application & Scope

  • 1. This Policy applies to all University property and practices including research and teaching.
  • 2. This Policy applies to all University employees, students, contractors, visitors, tenants, and vendors whilst on University property or using University vehicles.
  • 3. This Policy is applicable from 25 July 2016.

5 Policy Principles

  • 1. Smoking of tobacco products or personal vaporisers is prohibited on all University property, in University vehicles and at all University activities and events with the following exceptions which may utilise designated smoking areas:
      • a) UniBar
      • b) Student Accommodation Facilities
      • c) Innovation Campus.
  • 2. Designated smoking areas are to:
      • a) comply with the Smoke-Free Environment Act and Regulation,
      • b) provide reasonable protection for non-smokers from second-hand smoke,
      • c) be used as a limited measure in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a smoke-free University.
  • 3. Sale, promotion, advertising or free distribution of tobacco products or personal vaporisers as well as any directly funded tobacco-industry activities are prohibited at all University property.

6 Assistance for Smokers

  • 1. The University values healthy lifestyle choices and encourages everyone to take action to protect their health.
  • 2. Smokers seeking advice on how to quit smoking should contact the Quitline on 137848 or visit the Quit website www.quit.org.au
  • 3. Smoking cessation awareness sessions will be facilitated for staff and students at various times dependent upon need.

7 Communication

  • 1. The requirements of this Policy will be communicated via signage, induction and contracts as well as other appropriate means.
  • 1. Students will be communicated of the requirements of this policy prior to enrolment, at admission and throughout the completion of their course.
  • 2. Employees will be communicated of the requirements of this policy prior to employment, at induction and throughout their employment.

8 Compliance

  • 1. Compliance with this Policy is intended to be self-regulating, with formal complaints being an exceptional response.
  • 2. All persons are encouraged to educate and raise awareness of the requirements of this Policy. This may include approaching someone who is smoking and informing them politely that the University is smoke-free and their cooperation is required to not smoke on University property.
  • 3. Procedures on how to approach someone not adhering with the requirements of this Policy are provided on the University’s website. Asking an individual or group to stop smoking should always be done in a polite and respectful manner. This may include issuing information material which outlines, highlights and reaffirms the requirements of this Policy to the individual(s) concerned. Once the information has been handed over, the person should disengage from any further conversation.
  • 4. Where a person has been asked to discontinue smoking on University property this request is to be actioned immediately by the smoker in a polite and respectful manner.
  • 5. Instances of non-adherence to this Policy are to be reported via the University’s hazard and incident reporting system, SafetyNet.
  • 6. Staff, students, contractors and visitors are required to comply with relevant laws and University policies and procedures. Any breaches of the law or this Policy will be managed in accordance with established procedures including but not limited to the Campus Access and Order Rules.

9 Roles & Responsibilities

  • 1. Managers and supervisors are required to:
    • a) ensure staff, students and contractors are informed of this Policy
    • b) ensure complaints with regard to alleged breaches of this Policy are dealt with quickly and effectively at the lowest possible level.
  • 2. All persons at the University:
    • a) must cooperate with the requirements of this Policy and act in accordance with Campus Access and Order Rules
    • b) may politely request anyone not cooperating with policy to cease smoking.

10 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



8 May 1998

Administrative Committee

First version Smoke-Free Environment Policy.


21 May 2001

Administrative Committee

Revised policy.


24 July 2007

Administrative Committee

Revised for currency and formatting.


6 May 2009

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Policy Template as per Policy Directory Refresh.


3 September 2013

Finance and Resources Committee

Scheduled review. Addition of definitions for workers, WHS legislation update, increased prohibited areas as per requirement of new legislation.


22 April 2016


Change to Smoke-Free University Policy prohibiting smoking at UOW.

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