In 2016 UOW became a cleaner & healthier campus by committing to be smoke-free. We are all very fortunate to study & work in such a beautiful environment; however, this is a polite note that litter has become an issue on Northfields Avenue.

Additional ashtrays have now been fitted and smokers are reminded to use the ashtrays provided or use a personal ashtray. Thanks again for your commitment to the ongoing success of our Smoke-Free University Policy.

Say goodbye to second-hand smoke

In July 2016, The University of Wollongong implemented a Smoke-Free University Policy to model positive health choices, raise awareness about the harmful effects of smoking, and remove the exposure of second-hand smoke for our staff, students and visitors.

Want to know more?

Why smoke free?

The following support options are available to smokers to help assist with this transition and meet the requirements of the smoke-free university policy:

  • talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health professional about nicotine replacement options available when you are on campus e.g. patches, lozenges or gum may assist curb nicotine cravings while on campus.
  • talk with one of the  team to discuss support options
  • for employee concerns, please contact the University's .

Making the decision to quit smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health and also those around you. If you are still undecided here are some reasons to quit smoking when considering your decision. The important thing to know is that the benefits of quitting smoking starts immediately.

Quitting smoking requires planning and commitment – here are some links to support networks and resources that can help you get underway:

If you would like to talk to someone the Quitline is a free, confidential and individually tailored service to assist smokers quit. Anyone can access the Quitline by calling 13 7848 (13 QUIT) from anywhere in Australia.

Quitline Advisors are professionals with specialist training to assist you to quit smoking. Advisors can assist with preparing to quit, avoiding slip-ups and staying quit.  Callers to the NSW Quitline can receive a free Quit Kit, talk to an advisor or chose to join the free call-back service, which schedules additional supportive calls from an Advisor and doubles the chance of a successful quit attempt.

There is also an Aboriginal Quitline which is a free, culturally sensitive, confidential and individually tailored service to assist you in the process of quitting smoking. You can access this service by calling 13 7848 from anywhere in Australia. Aboriginal Quitline advisors will provide you with tips on how to quit smoking and help you make a plan. They can help you manage withdrawals and cravings and give you information about quit medications and products. They can also call you back to see how you’re doing and offer you support.

Download the Aboriginal Quitline brochure for more information.

If you require advice in a language other than English, you can speak to a Multilingual Quitline Advisor in the following languages:

  • Arabic:

الخط العربي للإقلاع عن التدخين 1300 7848

  • Vietnamese:

Đường dây tiếng Việt về bỏ hút thuốc. Quitline 1300 7848

  • Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin):

中文戒烟热线 Quitline 1300 7848

  • Korean

메시지는 한국어 로 둔다 Quitline 1300 7848 23.

A telephone interpreter service can be arranged for all other languages.

The UOW Smoke-Free University Policy is available here. Feedback on the policy and its implementation is welcome via email to

As a smoker your cooperation and assistance with the Smoke-Free Policy is vital to its success. The Policy’s aim isn’t to force you to quit smoking but rather remove exposure to second hand smoke for those that have chosen to not smoke. The University is required to provide a safe and healthy environment to everyone and removing second hand smoke from our campuses will further enhance this.

Some ways that you can help us say good bye to second hand smoke are:

  • follow the requirements of the policy by not smoking on campus or only smoking in designated areas
  • if you are smoking and someone asks you to not smoke, please acknowledge the request and extinguish your cigarette appropriately
  • remember that bus stops, sports areas and playgrounds are also smoke-free areas
  • talk to a friend who is a non-smoker about how second hand smoke affects them to learn why it is important to have a smoke-free campus
  • do some research on the effects of second hand smoke. For example, did you know that second hand smoke kills over 600,000 people a year?

As a non-smoker you have a role to play to help enable this policy to be as effective as possible. Here are some things you can be aware of and do to help support smokers during the transition to a smoke-free university:

  • understand that smoking can be an addiction, and that quitting can be extremely hard especially in the early days
  • smokers often feel in conflict about their smoking; they want to stop, but part of them wants to keep smoking.
  • don’t become involved in arguments about smoking. There’s a good chance that the smoker is aware that smoking is bad for their health, and is becoming less acceptable around others in public places. Disagreements only make smokers more defensive and more likely to keep on smoking
  • if you see someone smoking where they shouldn’t and you feel confident to approach them about the smoke-free requirements, make sure that you do this respectfully and politely. You’ll have a much better chance of a positive outcome. If you are not confident please send an email to and we can monitor the area to help with compliance
  • if you have a friend who is a smoker make sure you show them a positive example of how to deal with stress, boredom or good and bad feelings. Does your lifestyle provide an image of a non-smoker that would appeal to your smoking friend?
  • if you know someone that has overcome their smoking addiction introduce them to a friend who is thinking about quitting. Their experience could really help them make a smooth transition and avoid setbacks.

It is important for supervisors to model good behaviour and demonstrate leadership with the implementation of the Smoke-Free University Policy. If you know of a staff member in your team who is a smoker, discuss with them how this policy will affect them and come up with a plan.

Of equal importance is to ensure that anyone who is a smoker in your team complies with the requirements of the policy. If everyone is on the same page at the beginning this will help avoid difficult conversations later on.

All public areas of the University are smoke-free except for designated smoking areas which are clearly signposted. Smoking receptacles are provided at the boundary of the campus and we remind smokers to ensure that they:

  • follow the smoke-free policy requirements and don’t smoke in public areas on University property
  • refrain from smoking near transport stops outside of the University
  • utilise designated smoking areas where they are available
  • acknowledge any request to not smoke in a smoke-free area and extinguish their cigarette appropriately
  • dispose of their cigarettes appropriately.

Designated smoking areas are indicated on the interactive  (click on Amenities).

Student residences will identify designated smoking areas where the need is identified. Please refer to your Student Residence Manager for more details.


Smoke Free testimonial

"We have a beautiful outdoor environment at UOW. There is nothing better than sitting amongst the trees on campus, enjoying the views and breathing fresh air. I support the smoke-free campus policy because I want a clean campus."

UOW Employee

Smoke free testimonial

"As a reformed smoker, I applaud the implementation of a totally smoke-free campus."

UOW Undergraduate Student

Smoke Free Testimonial

"As an asthmatic, second-hand smoke triggers my asthma and really effects my health. I fully support a smoke-free UOW."

UOW Postgraduate Student

Smoke Free Testimonial

"It's great that the University is going smoke-free."

UOW Employee

Frequently asked questions

Q. Why has the University gone smoke free?

It is well known that smoking is a leading cause of death and illness which is preventable.  By restricting where people can smoke on our campuses the University is taking a proactive step to remove exposure of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke for those that have chosen not to smoke.

Q. What is second hand smoke?

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that is emitted from a lit cigarette as well as the smoke exhaled by the smoker. There are over 4,000 chemicals in second-hand smoke which is linked to the premature deaths of an estimated 600,000 people per year. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Q. When does the policy take effect?

The Smoke-Free University Policy commenced on 25th July 2016 which was the first day of spring session 2016.


Q. Have all campuses gone smoke-free?

Yes all campuses are smoke-free except where designated smoking areas have been identified.


Q. Are there any designated smoking areas on campus?

There are a limited number of designated smoking areas which are located on the campus maps.  It is envisaged that these will be phased out over time.

Q. Does the smoke-free policy apply to student residence facilities as well?

All student residence facilities are smoke-free except where designated smoking areas have been identified. Refer to your Student Residence Manager for further details.

Q. What should I do if I see someone smoking on campus?

The change to a smoke-free university will take some time and during the transition phase it’s important that there is patience and respect. If you see someone smoking on campus you are encouraged to politely let them know that that they are required to comply with the University’s smoke-free requirements.

Q. What do I do if someone continues to smoke on campus?

Please notify us by email of the area and we can help raise awareness of the smoke-free requirements.

Q. Are there penalties applied to students or staff for smoking on campus?

At this early stage, the University is reluctant to fine people for continuing to smoke against the policy requirements. However, disciplinary action for staff, students or visitors according to the University Access and Order Rules may be applied for those that repeatedly fail to meet the smoke-free requirements.

Q. What support is offered to smokers who want to quit?

The University has a Campus Medical Centre, comprising female & male full-time Doctor's who are aware of the SmokeFree policy and ready to assist. In addition, staff can use the employee assistance program services and students can talk to the Student Wellbeing team about quit options.

Q. What if I don’t want to quit smoking?

That’s your choice. All we ask is that you cooperate with the University’s smoke-free requirements.  If that is an issue, please talk to your doctor or contact Quitline to discuss what options are available to help manage nicotine cravings while on campus.

Q. Are e-cigarettes permitted on campus?

Research has indicated that the chemicals in e-cigarettes and there vapour are harmful so they are also precluded from use on campus.

Q. Have other universities implemented an approach like this?

Many other universities in Australia and internationally have successfully adopted similar smoke-free initiatives like UOW’s.