Statement of no smoking policy (including vaping)

Council has approved the following No Smoking Policy which has been circulated to all departments and institutions.

The prohibition on smoking on University premises was implemented on 1 March 2006. Following the introduction of the Smokefree Regulations 2006, Council extended this prohibition to all University-owned shared vehicles.  From 7 January 2019 the prohibition has been extended to cover the use of electronic cigarettes or similar devices (‘vaping’).

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In the light of findings which clearly signal the long-term damage to health to which smokers expose themselves and others, Council has concluded that the University would be failing in its duty to promote the health, safety, and welfare of those on its premises - staff, students, and visitors alike - if it did not seek to minimise the exposure of both smokers and non-smokers to all forms of smoking, by prohibiting smoking in all University buildings and University-owned shared vehicles.

This policy prohibits smoking in all University buildings (including all enclosed and semi-enclosed workplaces, but with the exceptions listed below) and in all University-owned shared vehicles. The prohibition excludes some long-let residential accommodation, which is subject to separate arrangements (for example: (1) farmhouses and cottages on rural investment estates; and (2) unfurnished accommodation let on long-term arrangements).

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Current evidence suggests that the health risk effects of electronic cigarettes both to users and from secondary exposure is much lower than the risks from tobacco smoke.  It is also recognised that using electronic cigarettes can contribute to smoking cessation and have positive effect on smoker health.  However, electronic cigarette use can produce aerosols and nuisance odours in enclosed workplaces: in particular people with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be sensitive to ‘environmental irritants’ such as electronic cigarette vapour. Studies suggest that electronic cigarette use is not without any risk of harm to health: allowing the use of electronic cigarettes inside University buildings and vehicles would therefore be introducing a potential risk to bystanders from secondary exposure to electronic cigarette use. The University therefore prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes, or similar devices, in all the same locations and areas as are covered by the no-smoking rules.

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Departments may wish to consider arrangements for those who wish to smoke or vape outside, whilst discouraging the undesirable practice of smokers or vapers gathering outside the entrances to University buildings. Local measures may be considered, following appropriate consultation with staff which may include an extension of the ban to areas outside of buildings.

Where a designated smoking area is provided those who wish to use electronic cigarettes, or other similar devices, during the working day should not be required to use this designated area.  However, devices should not be used near doors, windows or in other locations where vapours could become a nuisance to others.

This policy should be distributed and appropriate prohibition signs should be posted in buildings, at entrances, and in University-owned vehicles.

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The NHS has a service to support and motivate people to quit smoking.  More information is available on the NHS website.

The NHS also has a Free Personal Quit Plan to help those who wish to quit smoking.

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