Smoke free environment

To further increase our commitment to providing a healthy, clean air environment for staff, students and visitors, all Western Sydney University premises became completely smoke-free on 1 January 2014. This decision followed a review of the University's Environmental Tobacco Smoke Policy, including the use of designated smoking areas, and compliance with the policy. Many other Australian universities are adopting similar policies, including Swinburne University and the University of Adelaide.

The Smoke-Free Environment Policy (opens in a new window) applies to all forms of tobacco smoking, including cigarettes, cigars and water pipe tobacco smoking. The policy applies to anyone on University premises, including staff, students and visitors, so if you are hosting an event or meeting, or engaging the services of suppliers, please ensure they are aware of the new policy.

From 1 January 2014, staff, students and visitors who smoke on campus may be issued an infringement notice under the Smoke-Free Environment Act, which is currently $550.

The University recognises that staff and students have a right to choose whether to smoke. However, the University also recognises that non-smoking staff and students have the right to work and study in an environment that is not polluted by environmental tobacco smoke.

For staff, compliance with the policy is a condition of employment, and for students, compliance with the policy is a condition of enrolment.

Designated smoking areas

In January 2013, the University took a step towards smoke-free campuses by introducing designated smoking areas. Designated smoking areas are no longer in effect and have been removed as smoking is no longer permitted anywhere on University campuses. 

Survey results

More than 6,000 staff and students responded to the 'Smoking at UWS Survey' in November 2011. 17% of respondents identified as smokers while 83% were non-smokers.

This survey asked staff and students about their current smoking behaviour, attitudes towards smoking and response to potential University initiatives.

  • 78% of respondents said they prefer to work or study in a smoke-free environment.
  • 68% of respondents felt that they are currently exposed to other people's tobacco smoke on campus, and 83% felt that this was causing them harm.
  • 70% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the University should be predominantly smoke-free with designated smoking areas on each campus.
  • 65% believed that they have a right to a smoke-free campus, compared with 47% who believed people should have the right to smoke on campus.

Contact us

For more information about the Smoke-Free Campuses initiative, please contact Work Health and Safety via