smokefree universities

We are encouraging universities across Wales to make their campuses smokefree, to improve the health of staff and students and reduce smoking-related litter.

Improve the health of staff and students

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.

Overall smoking rates are declining in Wales but there’s still work to be done in when it comes to those aged 18-24:

High smoking rates

Smoking among young people aged 16 – 24 remains at a high level. The younger the age someone starts smoking, the greater the harm is likely to be.

Habit of Childhood

 Two thirds start smoking before the age of 18and 40% start smoking regularly before the age of 162.  A classroom of children start smoking every day.


Smokefree spaces are becoming a catalyst for denormalising smoking among young people. This is vital to keep smoking rates in decline.


What are we calling for?

To make outdoor campus areas smokefree

End all forms of tobacco sale and promotion on campus

End all forms of financial arrangements with tobacco companies

Providing support for staff and students to quit smoking

Why go smokefree?

Healthy Lifestyles

Your university will meet the criteria around the Welsh Government’s forthcoming Healthy Universities (HE/FE) framework on substance misuse. It will be healthier for everyone, staff and students are supported to lead healthy lifestyles.


Prompting Quit Attempts

Existing smokers may be prompted to quit and many others will not commence smoking as a direct result of the smokefree policy.


Cigarette Litter

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, found on 86% of Wales’ streets. The cost of cleaning waste across the University campus will be reduced.


What about e-cigarettes?

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.

Implement a smokefree policy with our toolkit

We’ve designed a toolkit for universities to implement a policy at their institution.

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


  • 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
Smokefree Universities Toolkit

Further Reading