Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Occupational Health And Safety
Authoring Organisational Unit
Safety, Health and Wellbeing
Date Approved
01/01/2007 Revised 25/05/2015
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Smoking

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy sets out how the University is smoke free and the principles that guide the University's management of smoking by employees, students, contractors and visitors to the University. This includes the requirement to comply with Federal and State legislation as well as to the University's by-laws, statutes, regulations, rules and policies.


"Employee" (for the purpose of this policy) means any person who is an existing employee of the University.

"Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)" means a combination of side stream smoke (smoke from the burning end of a tobacco product) and exhaled mainstream smoke (the smoke breathed out by a smoker). ETS is classified as a human carcinogen (cancer causing agent).

"Smoking" is the inhalation and exhalation of the fumes or smoke of heating or burning tobacco, herbs or drugs. For the purposes of this policy, smoking refers to any method of consuming by heating or combustion of plant material, herbs, or drugs using any utensil or apparatus including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes or cigars.

"Supervisor" means the person who is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the employee

"University" means The University of Western Australia.

"University building" means a building owned by or under the control of the University by virtue of a lease or rental agreement and includes points of entry, windows, bridges, stairways and air conditioning vents and ducts.

"University property" means any property owned by or under the control of the University whether by freehold title or by lease or rental agreement and includes any portions of such property.

"Workplace" means a place, whether or not in an aircraft, ship, vehicle, building, or other structure, where employees or self-employed people work or are likely to be in the course of their work.

Policy statement:

The University provides a smoke free environment for its employees, students, contractors and visitors.

Smoking is prohibited in, or at, all of the University's buildings, properties and workplaces.

The University environment must be free from tobacco advertising, promotion, sponsorship and the sale of tobacco products.

The University must not accept direct or indirect research funding from the tobacco industry.

1 General Principles and application

1.1 To comply with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Regulations workers must not be exposed to smoke in enclosed workplaces. Smoking is, therefore, prohibited in all indoor areas, and enclosed courtyards, and within five metres of any entrance, window, or air conditioning duct of any University building.

1.2 The University promotes good health and healthy lifestyles.

1.3 The University recognises that individuals have a personal choice to smoke, however, the University is committed to ensuring that its students, employees, contractors and visitors are not exposed to the hazards of environmental tobacco smoke in its workplaces including its building and vehicles.

1.4 To encourage and assist smokers who are considering quitting, a number of support services are provided by the University and/or external agencies.

1.5 All forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, sponsorship and sale of tobacco products in retail outlets or from vending machines are prohibited.

1.6 Groups or individuals in the University must not knowingly accept funding or other forms of support directly or indirectly from the Australian Tobacco Research Foundation or from the tobacco industry.

1.7 Supervisors have responsibility to promote and ensure compliance with this Policy.

2 Scope of application

2.1 All University land and property must be smoke free. University land and property includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Workplaces, lecture halls, offices, access corridors and campus vehicles;
  • Eating and hospitality areas;
  • Toilets and change rooms;
  • Outdoor areas including sports fields;
  • Outdoor walkways and entrances used by people to access and exit buildings;
  • University vehicles including boats;
  • All University Premises (i.e. non Crawley); and
  • Smoking while on field trips, research activities etc. not on University premises, while not encouraged, must not occur within five metres of a work, meal or living environment and also not expose others to smoke.

2.2 The Head of University Hall can nominate one outside area for smoking to help control fire, personal and traffic safety.

2.3 Endowment properties which are rented are smoke free inside but are not subject to this policy.

3 Sources of Assistance and Professional Help

3.1 To encourage and assist smokers who are considering quitting, the following support is available:

3.1.1 For Employees and Students

  • Employees and Students are encouraged to consult their GP or local health services. The University Medical Centre provides general practice services on campus.
  • A confidential specialist Alcohol and Other Drug Counselling service for employees and students is available through The University Medical Centre.
  • The University provides a free and confidential counselling service on campus for employees and students through UWA Counselling and Psychological Services and employees through Optum.
  • The Robin Winkler Clinic is a clinical psychology unit linked to the School of Psychology. The clinic provides individual and group therapy for adults, children and adolescents of all backgrounds with a wide range of difficulties. A smoking cessation group is conducted at the clinic that uses scientifically validated treatment strategies.

3.1.2 Further Help and Support

A UWA Webpage ' UWA is Smoke Free' provides information on support, resources, and links to smoking related resources and legislation.

4 Breaches

4.1 For breaches of the WA OSH Act and Regulations, and the Tobacco Products Control Act and Regulations:

4.1.1 The person in breach should be informed they are committing an offence and be requested to stop smoking. Failing this the person should be requested to leave the premises until they have finished smoking.

4.1.2 For the University to be compliant with this legislation, smoking is prohibited in:

  • All University controlled buildings;
  • Within five metres of access points to buildings such as doors, windows, near air-conditioning vents and ducts;
  • Substantially enclosed courtyards. e.g. Social Sciences and Arts building courtyards;
  • All University vehicles and boats;
  • All enclosed public places (including licensed premises);
  • Cafes and Restaurants; and
  • Sporting Clubs.

4.1.3 Employees who are exposed to smoke in an enclosed workplace are to inform smokers that they are in breach of the policy. Information cards can be given to the smokers. If the exposure continues employees should report to their supervisor.

4.1.4 Supervisors at all levels must report repeated breaches of the policy to their Deans (or equivalent) who must manage such breaches in accordance with the relevant University disciplinary procedures and applicable University by-laws.

4.1.5 Employees, students, contractors and visitors persisting in smoking in prohibited areas despite the intervention of Faculty or Administrative area warnings must be formally reported to the Director, Human Resources or the Director, Student Services as appropriate.

4.2 For breaches of this Smoke Free policy, beyond those of the current legislation:

4.2.1 Any person smoking should be politely asked to stop and be reminded about the Smoke-Free policy. Information cards and scripts for suggested communication will be made available.

4.2.2 If the smoking continues employees and students are asked to report to their supervisors. Supervisors will be instructed and provided with information on handling of these issues.

Related forms:


TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Associate Director, Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Related Policies or legislation:

Position statement - Electronic cigarettes. National Cancer Prevention Policy

Position statement - Electronic cigarettes. Cancer Council WA

Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act 2009

Tobacco Products Control Act 2006

Tobacco Products Control Regulations 2006

Occupational Safety and Health Regulations

Occupational Safety and Health Act