Smokefree universities

University campuses across the country are a hub for young people to learn and socialise as well as providing jobs for thousands of staff. Through our smokefree universities initiative we are encouraging universities across Wales to make their campuses smokefree. This will improve the health of staff and students and reduce smoking-related litter.


Despite overall smoking rates declining in Wales, the prevalence of smoking among young people aged 16 - 24 remains at a high level. Two thirds of smokers start before the age of 181, and almost 40% start smoking regularly before the age of 162. Preventing young people from taking up smoking is vital in order to keep smoking rates in decline.

What are we calling for?

  1. Making all outdoor campus areas completely smokefree
  2. Ending all forms of tobacco sale and promotion on campus
  3. Ending all forms of direct or indirect financial arrangements with tobacco companies
  4. Providing support for staff and students to quit smoking

It is up to each institution to decide whether they will prohibit or permit e-cigarette use on their premises. These 5 questions can help you to decide whether you will prohibit or permit e-cigarette use on your premises.

Why go smokefree?

  • Staff and students are supported to lead healthy lifestyles and the university environment will be healthier for everyone - meeting criteria around the Welsh Government’s forthcoming Healthy Universities (HE/FE) framework on substance misuse
  • Litter - cost of cleaning waste will be reduced
  • Existing smokers may be prompted to quit and many others will not commence smoking as a direct result of the smokefree policy

How to implement smokefree campuses


  • Why we should make campuses tobacco-free – and how to do it
  • Tobacco facts
  • Elements of a tobacco-free policy
  • Benefits
  • Step-by-step guide to developing and implementing policy
  • Examples of effective policies
  • FAQs and Myths Busted

This guide has been modified from a similar guide by ASH Australia which was used as a model for Canadian and international guides.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about implementing smokefree universities.

Case studies




1Robinson S and Bugler C (2010). Smoking and drinking among adults, 2008. General Lifestyle Survey 2008. ONS.

2Office for National Statistics (2013). General Lifestyle Survey Overview: A report on the 2011 General Lifestyle Survey.