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Smoke-Free Environment Policy

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Section 1 - Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The purpose of this policy and associated procedures is to maintain a healthy environment at Western Sydney University by defining all University premises as Smoke-Free environments. The University has an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act, 2011 to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees, students and visitors. The University also has an obligation under the Smoke-free Environment Act, 2000 to prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and to prevent the spread of tobacco smoke into smoke-free areas under its control.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this policy:

  1. University vehicles - include University private use vehicles, pool cars, buses, vans, tractors, aircraft and boats;
  2. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) - smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Inhaling environmental tobacco smoke is called involuntary passive smoking.
  3. University Premises - all land, property and any location/site whether on or off campus that may be under the control of the University or in use by the University for commercial, academic and/or research purposes, irrespective of whether the University is the owner, commercial occupier or simply a temporary user of the land, property or location/site;
  4. Tobacco Products - includes all tobacco, cigarette, cigar, waterpipe or any other product containing tobacco designed for human consumption or use.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) Smoking is prohibited on all University Premises. The University has a responsibility to minimise adverse environmental effects and has committed in its Environmental Management Policy to reduce pollution and waste. The University is required to comply with the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 and is obliged under Australia's ratification of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to protect all people from exposure to tobacco smoke.

(4) Smoking is also prohibited at and around all entrances to University Premises.

(5) This policy applies to all persons on University Premises.

(6) The University is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its employees whilst at work and its students and visitors while on campus. The University has adopted the following principles:

  1. All persons on University Premises are entitled to a smoke-free environment;
  2. Smoking is prohibited, at all times, in University vehicles;
  3. Smoking is prohibited, at all times, on any approved University fieldwork activity where other persons may be exposed to ETS.

(7) Sale of all tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes is prohibited on University Premises.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities

(8) Managers and supervisors of areas, staff and students under their responsibility, must:

  1. Ensure staff and students are aware of this policy;
  2. Understand their responsibility to ensure the policy is enforced;
  3. Ensure complaints with regard to alleged breaches of the policy are dealt with quickly and effectively;
  4. Establish whether a breach has taken place before dealing with non-compliance.

(9) All persons on University Premises:

  1. Must not smoke anywhere on University Premises;
  2. Must cooperate with the University in the implementation of this policy;
  3. May request people who are smoking to cease smoking if they feel comfortable in doing so otherwise report the matter to the University's security staff. If the request is ignored, the matter must be referred to University Security staff. The matter should also be reported in accordance with the Accident, Injury, Incident, Hazard Reporting and Investigation Policy.

(10) Work Health and Safety Unit will:

  1. Monitor the effectiveness of this policy through a process of annual review;
  2. Liaise with local area management with regards to promotion of this policy.

(11) Office of Estate and Commercial will:

  1. Update signage, as part of the normal update cycle, to reflect that the University is a smoke-free educational institution and workplace.

(12) External inspectors

  1. Under the Smoke-Free Environment Act, 2000 external inspectors are appointed by the Director General (Ministry of Health) and have the authority to enter premises and collect information on breaches of the Act and Regulations. They can require any person smoking in a smoke-free area to stop smoking. Under the Act monetary penalties are enforceable by the external inspectors for:
    1. Individuals smoking in a smoke-free area;
    2. Occupiers who allow a person to smoke in a smoke-free area;
    3. Failure to display adequate signage;
    4. Occupiers who fail to prevent the spread of smoke from a smoking to a smoke-free area.
  2. External inspectors, appointed by the Director General have the authority under the Smoke-Free Environment Act, 2000 to enter the University and prosecute individuals and occupiers who breach the Act.

Part B - Dealing with Non-Compliance

(13) Under the NSW Smoke-Free Environment Act, 2000, fines can be issued by external inspectors for breaches of the act. The amount of the fine is as applicable under the act at the time of the offence and will be in excess of $550 per breach.

Part C - Assistance for smokers

(14) The University recognises that some staff and students may require assistance to quit smoking. Employees may speak with a counsellor in accordance with the Employee Assistance Program for assistance in adjusting their smoking habits to align with this policy. Similarly, students can seek assistance from the University Counselling and Disability.

(15) Professional help to assist employees and students who wish to stop smoking is available from Quitline (a telephone advisory service available by calling 137 848) or by visiting www.icanquit.com.au. In addition, to encourage and support those staff wanting to quit smoking, the University will allow staff to access up to 8 hours special leave for the purpose of attending a recognised "quit smoking" program. This leave is subject to the same approval process as any other special leave. Staff are responsible for paying fees and other costs associated with their participation in a "quit smoking" program.

Part D - Policy Dissemination

(16) It is important that all persons on University Premises are aware of this policy. This will be facilitated as much as possible via the following means:

  1. All current staff and students will be advised of the policy through the normal University Policy dissemination protocols and will be reminded of the policy from time to time;
  2. All new vacant positions will be advertised with an advice about the University's Smoke-Free Environment Policy; such advice will also be sent with letters of offer to successful candidates for vacancies;
  3. Contracts issued for work at the University will refer to the University's Smoke-Free Environment Policy;
  4. Prospective students will be advised of the policy at the time of the University making them an offer to study.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(17) Relevant Legislation

  1. Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 (NSW)
  2. Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2007
  3. Smoke-free Environment Amendment Regulation 2013
  4. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
  5. Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017
  6. TGA Health Safety Regulation