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Smoke-Free University Policy

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Section 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 Act 2000 and Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

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Section 2 - Policy Context

(2) 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.

(3) The University  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.

(4) 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.

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Section 3 - Application and Scope

(5) This Policy applies to all University property and practices including research and teaching.

(6) This Policy applies to all University employees, students, contractors, visitors, tenants, and vendors whilst on University property or using University vehicles.

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Section 4 - Policy Principles

(7) 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:

  1. UniBar;
  2. Student Accommodation Facilities;
  3. Innovation Campus.

(8) Designated smoking areas are to:

  1. comply with the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000;
  2. provide reasonable protection for non-smokers from second-hand smoke;
  3. be used as a limited measure in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a smoke-free University.

(9) 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.

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Section 5 - Assistance for Smokers

(10) The University values healthy lifestyle choices and encourages everyone to take action to protect their health.

(11) Smokers seeking advice on how to quit smoking should contact the Quitline on 137848 or visit the website NSW Quitline.

(12) Smoking cessation awareness sessions will be facilitated for staff and students at various times dependent upon need.

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Section 6 - Communication

(13) The requirements of this Policy will be communicated via signage, induction and contracts as well as other appropriate means.

(14) Students will be communicated of the requirements of this Policy prior to enrolment, at admission and throughout the completion of their course.

(15) Employees will be communicated of the requirements of this Policy prior to employment, at induction and throughout their employment.

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Section 7 - Compliance

(16) Compliance with this Policy is intended to be self-regulating, with formal complaints being an exceptional response.

(17) 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.

(18) 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.

(19) 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.

(20) Instances of non-adherence to this Policy are to be reported via the University’s hazard and incident reporting system, SafetyNet.

(21) 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.

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Section 8 - Roles and Responsibilities

(22) Managers and Supervisors are required to:

  1. ensure staff, students and contractors are informed of this Policy;
  2. ensure complaints with regard to alleged breaches of this Policy are dealt with quickly and effectively at the lowest possible level.

(23) All persons at the University:

  1. must cooperate with the requirements of this Policy and act in accordance with Campus Access and Order Rules;
  2. may politely request anyone not cooperating with policy to cease smoking.
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Section 9 - Definitions

Definition (with examples if required)
Authorised person
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:
  1. is capable of being used to deliver a substance into an individual’s body when the individual inhales through the device; and
  2. has one or more of the following parts:
a. a battery;
b. a cartridge or container to store a liquid, vapour or gas;
c. an electric heating element.
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.