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Smoke Free Workplace Policy

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Section 1 - Overview

It is a requirement of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 that the activity of the University does not expose staff members, students and visitors to risks to their health, safety and welfare.
The NSW Smoke Free Environment Act 2000 requires the occupier of public places to promote health by preventing the exposure to smoke from ignited tobacco (or similar) products.


The University has a responsibility to ensure that any place of work or enclosed space that is occupied by the University (as far as is practicable) does not expose staff, students and visitors to tobacco (or similar) smoke.
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Section 2 - Policy

(1) Smoking is not permitted in the following designated Smoke-Free Zones:

  1. any enclosed space where work is conducted;
  2. within 3 metres of a window or an entrance to, or exit from, any building;
  3. within 10 metres of any air intake ventilation equipment provided for any building;
  4. within three (3) metres of a dangerous goods storage area; within UNE vehicles (including marine vehicles); or
  5. any otherwise signposted Smoke-Free Zone.

(2) In addition to the areas identified in (1), smoking is not permitted when:

  1. preparing food;
  2. handling hazardous substances or dangerous goods; caring for children;
  3. on an approved University activity (e.g. fieldwork activity) where other persons may be exposed to smoke.

(3) Supervisors will be responsible for ensuring the adherence to this policy in places of work under their control.

(4) Staff members, students and visitors, before igniting a tobacco product and while smoking, will ensure that they do not expose other people in a Smoke-Free Zone to smoke.

(5) Cigarette ash and butts must be disposed of in an appropriate receptacle.

(6) The University does not encourage smoking and will provide information to assist staff to stop. Brochures and advice on recognised "quit" programs will be available from OHS Unit and University Medical Centre.

(7) The University does not allow smoking on work time. A staff member may negotiate breaks for smoking with their manager where this does not interfere with the operations of the business on, the understanding that time taken in breaks will be made up.

(8) Where there has been repeated breaching of this policy, the University OHS Unit will investigate and take such action as is necessary to resolve the issue.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(9) Upon becoming aware that this policy has been breached, the relevant supervisor or Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) representative will inform the smoker that an offence is being committed and direct the smoker to:

  1. extinguish the tobacco product immediately; leave the Smoke-Free Zone; or
  2. move a reasonable distance away from the enclosed space or workplace.

(10) Where a Smoke-Free Zone has been exposed to smoke on repeated occasions, the relevant supervisor, OHS representative or any other staff member will inform the OHS Unit.

(11) If any person does not comply with this policy, the University may take action in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedures or legislation.

(12) Staff members wishing to obtain information about giving up smoking, can contact the OHS Unit, or the University Medical Centre.

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Section 4 - Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply:

(13) Enclosed space means an area having either a temporary or permanent ceiling or roof and/or two or more walls.

(14) Place of Work means any University owned or occupied premises or vehicle used for University business (including, but not limited to road or marine), or any University approved outdoor activity.

(15) Fieldwork activity means any activity under the control of the University, but not in a University building. N.B. staff/students on "practicum" (or other workplace-based training) will be subject to the rules of those workplaces.

(16) Smoker or smoking means a person in the act of holding, or otherwise having control over, an ignited tobacco (or similar) product.

(17) Smoke-free Zone means an area in which smoking is prohibited as set out in (1) and (2).