Developing a smoke-free policy

Below are a few helpful hints to help you start developing your own smoke-free workplace policy:

  • Establish a workplace committee
    • Include representatives from all parts of the organisation
    • Senior management support and commitment is vital
  •  Involve employees (smokers and non-smokers)
    • This can be done through meetings or surveys
    • Helps identify staff attitudes or concerns about the workplace becoming smoke-free
    • Once identified, these attitudes or concerns can then be addressed
  •  Formulate a written policy
    • Write clear objectives and how they will be achieved
    • Integrate the policy with other programs and procedures related to health and safety in the workplace
    • Ensure that the policy includes:
      • The purpose of the policy (i.e. to avoid the harmful effects of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke)
      • A link between the smoke-free policy and the organisational values
      • Time-frame for implementation
      • A clear statement of where smoking is not permitted, for example on the premises, in work vehicles, at work functions and whilst wearing work uniforms
  • Communicate the policy to employees
    • Inform employees of the policy well before implementing it
    • Focus on the smoke not the smoker, i.e. emphasise the benefits of a clean air policy for both smokers and non-smokers rather than emphasising the rights of non-smokers
  • Provide information and support to smokers
    • This could include newsletters, flyers, posters and emails promoting the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting
    • Consider allowing employees time to access quit support services such as telephone information and counselling via Quitline (13 7848 or 13 QUIT) and Employee Assistance Programs.
  • Determine consequences of non-compliance
    • Ensure this is fair and consistent with sanctions for breaches of other workplace policies
  •  Follow a timetable for implementation
    • Allow a transition stage after the policy is announced for the employees to adjust
    • A good timeframe for the policy development and implementation is 4-12 months
  •  Provide training
    • Provide training to health and safety and other key personnel on implementing the policy and providing support
    • Develop a referral system for services outside the workplace
  • Evaluate and monitor implementation
    • Review the policy to access whether it is achieving its objectives
    • A review is recommended every 12-18 months

For more information on how to develop a smoke-free policy for your workplace

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