Wolfson College aims to provide an environment which is safe, which minimises any risks to health and which makes adequate arrangements for the welfare of our employees, residents, students and visitors whilst they are at Wolfson College.
Those who smoke endanger not only themselves but also others who do not smoke, through passive smoking. Passive smoking - breathing in other people's tobacco smoke - has been shown to cause lung cancer and heart disease in non-smokers, as well as many other illnesses and minor conditions. Inhaling other people's tobacco smoke is both a health hazard and a welfare issue. In addition, smoking can constitute a fire risk.
Wolfson College has adopted the following policy concerning smoking within the College and its grounds. This policy sets out how we intend to manage smoking within our environment.
Scope of this policy
This policy applies to all employees, residents, Fellows, students and visitors regardless of seniority, and whether or not their environment is shared with others.
Aims of this policy
This policy seeks to guarantee to non-smokers the right to air that is free of tobacco smoke, while also taking account of the needs of those who do smoke.
The following pieces of legislation apply to this policy:
- The Health Act 2006 and the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006
- The Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006
- The Smoke Free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007.
In addition, employers have a common law duty to provide a safe place and system of work under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA).
Section 1 of the Health Act 2006 defines smoking as “smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance” and states that “smoking includes being in possession of lit tobacco or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked”.
“Enclosed” means premises that have a ceiling or roof, and (excluding doors, windows and passageways) are wholly enclosed whether permanently or temporarily. Tents and marquees are therefore included.
Areas where smoking is prohibited
Smoking is prohibited in any enclosed area on our premises. This includes the Porters’ Lodge and entrances, corridors, stairs and lifts, meeting rooms, rest rooms and toilets, as well as outside areas that are not designated as smoking areas.
Areas where smoking is allowed
Designated external smoking areas are provided as follows:
- The smoking shelter at the back of R/S blocks
- The graveled area at the rear of Fuchs House (where the benches are located, not against the wall of the house)
- The graveled area by the railings between Front Court and the Sundial Garden, to the right of the Jack King Building (this ‘smoking area’ is not to be used by employees and workers)
In many organisations and businesses, those who smoke do so just outside the entrances and exits to the premises. We believe that this does not present a professional image. Employees and workers are therefore not permitted to smoke in the following areas: in front of the main entrance, around the back gate on Selwyn Gardens or at the designated smoking area located on the graveled area by the railings between Front Court and the Sundial Garden, to the right of the Jack King Building.
Those who need to smoke may do so within the designated areas. Employees are only permitted to smoke during any recognised rest period or lunch break. Employees who smoke will not be allowed longer or more frequent breaks than their non-smoking colleagues and use of the smoking areas is not to interfere with normal job performance.
Smoking areas will be kept clean and those using these areas are expected to keep them tidy and to dispose of any rubbish appropriately. Receptacles are provided for the disposal of cigarette ends and other waste smoking materials. There are two litter/ash bins located at the entrances to College on the main driveway and just inside Selwyn Gardens gate and one located between the rear of the Gym and W Block. These bins are for smokers to stub out their cigarettes on their way into College. The locations of these particular bins are not to be considered as designated smoking areas. There are litter/ash bins located at the three ‘Areas where smoking is allowed’, as detailed above. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes must be extinguished using the receptacles provided and smokers should ensure that there is no risk of fire. These areas will be monitored to ensure an acceptable standard of cleanliness and adherence to safety.
Visitors, contractors and temporary staff
Visitors, customers, suppliers, contractors and temporary staff are expected to comply with this policy. Employees and Students meeting visitors from outside the College, or responsible for temporary staff or contractors, are required politely to explain our policy and to ensure such people comply with it.
Assistance to those who smoke
We recognise that passive smoking adversely affects the health of everyone. Whilst smoking is a personal choice we are concerned where people smoke and the effect that smoking in these locations has on non-smokers.
However, it is recognised that this policy will impact on smokers' lives and that some smokers may wish to reduce or give up smoking, but may have difficulty in doing so. Some details of where to obtain advice and guidance on giving up smoking are listed below:
Quit line: 0800 002 200
NHS smoking helpline: 0800 169 0 169 and from their website.
Electronic cigarettes (‘e-cigarettes’) are battery-powered products that use heat to release a visible vapour that contains liquid nicotine that is inhaled by the user. They are designed to replicate smoking behaviour without the use of tobacco, and some look very similar to conventional cigarettes. However, the use of these would not be classed as “smoking” according to the legal definition of this.
Whilst e-cigarettes may help some smokers to give up, guidance from the British Medical Association states that there is a lack of evidence about the health risks that they pose to the individual using them and those in close proximity. Additionally, we are concerned that electronic cigarettes may create the impression that smoking is accepted within the workplace, and we also have concerns that it is difficult to differentiate visually between e-cigarettes and normal cigarettes at a distance.
The use of electronic cigarettes is also banned within our premises. To allow those who choose to use e-cigarettes in an area free from those smoking ‘regular’ cigarettes, we have designated an area adjacent to the Lee Hall as a ‘vaping’ area. This ‘vaping’ area is not to be used by those smoking ‘regular’ cigarettes.
Enforcement of this policy
Smoking in an area other than those designated as a smoking area will be regarded as general misconduct and will be dealt with in accordance with the College’s disciplinary procedures.
Implementation, monitoring and review of this policy
The Health & Safety Committee has overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy, which will be reviewed on a regular basis following its implementation (at least annually) and additionally whenever there are relevant changes in legislation or to our working practices. Employees will be consulted about any proposed changes via the Staff Communication & Consultation Committee, and adequate notice given of these.