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Smoke-free UQ Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The University of Queensland (UQ) is an internationally recognised leader in health research, education and training, and is committed to matching its best practice education and research in the areas of public health and individual health with best practice policy. 

(2) This Policy outlines the key requirements and principles of a smoke free university environment as well as responsibilities and actions required for its implementation and ongoing management. 

(3) The Policy applies to:

  1. all UQ property, campuses, sites, buildings, vehicles or other areas owned, controlled or leased by UQ, except where a specific exception has been granted; and
  2. all commercial tenancies operating on UQ owned, controlled or leased premises.


(4) UQ student residential colleges will continue to be regulated by the respective colleges’ smoking policies.  This specifically refers to the ten residential colleges situated on the St Lucia campus (2021) - Cromwell College, Duchesne College, Emmanuel College, Grace College, International House, King’s College, St John’s College, St Leo’s College, The Women’s College and Union College.

(5) The Red Room situated on St Lucia Campus, and the Lawes Club situated on Gatton Campus, are both managed by the University of Queensland Union (UQU).  These establishments respectively hold a commercial special facilities licence and a community club licence, under the Liquor Act 1992.  Facilities with these licence types are eligible to provide a Designated Outdoor Smoking Area (DOSA) under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Tobacco Act). These facilities must comply with the requirements for a DOSA under the Tobacco Act, including the placement of signage stating that consumption of food in this area is not permitted. 

(6) Other exemptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Director of the Health, Safety and Wellness Division (HSW Division), where a sufficient justification is made and where the exemption will not cause unacceptable exposure to others. 


(7) This Policy supports the Queensland Government approach to eliminate smoking from higher education campuses and aims to eliminate the harmful effects of passive smoking and related discomfort to others.

(8) UQ also has an obligation to meet the primary duty of care requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld). 

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

UQ is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of UQ workers and others while on UQ campuses and sites

(9) UQ has adopted the following principles, except where an exemption applies:

  1. All persons on UQ campuses and sites are entitled to a smoke-free environment. UQ recognises that UQ workers and others have a right to choose whether to smoke. However, UQ also recognises that non-smoking UQ workers and others have the right to an environment that is not impacted by second-hand smoke, or the vapour from e-cigarettes and similar devices.
  2. Smoking and/or vaping is prohibited at all times:
    1. on UQ campuses and sites;
    2. in UQ vehicles; and
    3. during any approved UQ fieldwork activity where other persons may be exposed to second-hand smoke, or the vapour from e-cigarettes and similar devices.
  3. UQ workers and others are reminded it is also an offence under the Tobacco Act to smoke near an entrance to an enclosed space, to smoke near children’s playground equipment, and to smoke at or near a public transport waiting point, among others.
  4. Smoke-free UQ aligns with UQ’s reputation as an international leader in health education and research with best practice policy to support healthy behaviour by UQ workers and others.
  5. To encourage and assist smokers who are considering quitting, a number of support services are provided by UQ and/or external agencies. 
  6. All prospective UQ workers and students are provided with documentation about UQ, which includes information about the Smoke-Free UQ Policy. 

UQ engagement with tobacco and tobacco related organisations

(10) UQ does not accept funding from the tobacco industry for any purpose, including for:

  1. research;
  2. learning and teaching;
  3. advancement and endowments;
  4. gifts and awards; and
  5. sponsorship.

(11) Refer to the Administration of Research Funding - Applications, Grants and Contract Research Policy.

Sale of tobacco, e-cigarettes or similar devices on UQ campuses and sites

(12) The sale of tobacco and tobacco products from retail outlets or from vending machines is prohibited across UQ.

(13) The exception to above clause 12, is where UQ is a party to a legally enforceable agreement pre-dating this Policy, permitting a third party to sell cigarettes and tobacco products from specified locations on UQ’s campuses or sites.

Failure to comply with the Smoke-Free UQ Policy

(14) Security staff undertake regular patrols of each UQ campus. Where an individual is found on campus to be smoking as defined in this Policy, they will be asked to cease smoking and will be advised of the requirement to comply with this Policy. For staff, students and contractors, failure to comply may result in additional action:

  1. Students who breach the Smoke-Free UQ Policy may be subject to action under the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy
  2. Staff members who breach the Smoke-Free UQ Policy may be subject to action under the Staff Code of Conduct Policy.
  3. Contractors who breach the Smoke-Free UQ Policy may be subject to action under the Contractor Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety (EOHS) Handbook

Smoking cessation support

(15) There are a range of support options for those who wish to quit smoking. The following organisations and services may be contacted:

  1. UQ Health Care
  2. Cancer Council Queensland
  3. Quit Coach
  4. My QuitBuddy
  5. QuitNow
  6. Quitline (13QUIT; 13 78 48).
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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Heads of Organisational Units

(16) Heads of Organisational Units are responsible for ensuring that staff and students in their unit are aware of this Policy.

Supervisors and Managers

(17) Supervisors and managers are responsible for addressing non-compliance with this Policy and providing information and guidance to relevant parties.

Manager, UQ Security

(18) The Manager, UQ Security is responsible for ensuring all security staff are aware of this Policy and the process to be followed in the event of people smoking on a UQ campus or site.

Director of Health, Safety and Wellness Division

(19) The Director of the HSW Division is responsible for providing guidance to the UQ community on smoking on UQ campuses and sites, consistent with UQ’s commitment to provide a safe, supportive and healthy working and study environment. Further information is available at:

UQ Wellness Program

(20) The UQ Wellness Program is responsible for ensuring the smoke-free UQ messaging is consistent, timely, and included in all relevant material.

Contractor managers

(21) Contractor managers are responsible for:

  1. advising contractors and sub-contractors of this Policy through the induction process and monitoring compliance with this Policy;
  2. providing assurance that all contractor documentation includes the requirement of UQ campuses and sites being smoke-free; and
  3. implementing appropriate actions to promote compliance (online contractor induction training will provide contractors with information on the Policy).

UQ workers and others

(22) UQ workers and others are responsible for contributing to a supportive culture and maintaining a smoke-free environment at UQ.

Event organisers

(23) Where events are organised on UQ campuses and sites, event organisers must ensure that people coming onto UQ campuses and sites are informed of requirements of this Policy.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(24) Monitoring and review activities will be undertaken through consultation between the HSW Division, UQ Security, the UQ HSW network, and HSW committees, which will:

  1. assess compliance with the Policy and demonstrate/confirm its effectiveness; and
  2. identify, assess and promptly address any deficiencies with relevant stakeholders.
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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(25) Recording and reporting activities will be undertaken through consultation between the HSW Division, UQ Security, the UQ HSW network, and HSW committees, which will ensure that:

  1. activities and outcomes arising from adoption of this Policy are accurately recorded; and
  2. any non-compliance issues and/or adverse incidents (i.e. conflict which has escalated as a result of Policy implementation) are recorded and reported to the Director, HSW Division, in a timely manner. 
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Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definition
Smoking Smoking is the inhalation and exhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco, herbs or drugs.  Smoking also refers to the inhaling from an electronic cigarette or other devices which produce a vapour. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, e-cigars, vapour pens, or similar products and devices). 
UQ buildings A building owned by or under the control of UQ by virtue of a lease or rental agreement and includes points of entry, windows, bridges, stairways and air conditioning vents and ducts.
UQ property a. any land and building and structures or improvements on that land, owned, controlled or occupied by UQ; and

b. includes parts of buildings, structures or improvements, leased or licenced to UQ or occupied by UQ whether or not the land on which the building or structure is situated is owned or controlled by UQ.
Others For the purposes of this Policy refers to: 

• all students; and
• visitors.
UQ workers  For the purposes of this Policy includes:

• staff - continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff;
• contractors, subcontractors and consultants;
• visiting academics and researchers;
• affiliates - academic title holders, visiting academics, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title-holders, industry fellows and conjoint appointments; and
• higher degree by research students.