Productivity Costs

Creating a Tobacco Free Campus requires commitment from the highest level to drive the change management process. It is important that a senior person within the organisation has responsibility for developing, communicating, implementing, evaluating and monitoring the policy. This will send a clear signal that the organisation is serious about the policy and will help build support for it.

This role will include:

  • endorsing and supporting the local implementation of the policy and ensuring compliance;
  • bringing the policy to the attention of all staff;
  • providing appropriate resources to support the implementation of the policy.

You might consider creating an implementation group to support the implementation, monitoring and review of the Tobacco Free Campus Policy. Depending on the size and nature of the organisation this could include staff/union representatives, representatives from smoking/non-smoking staff, Human Resources and Occupational Health input. This group should assist with policy development, implementation, evaluation and on-going monitoring and will be a channel for engagement with employees and service users to engage with the process.
Engagement from all levels will help convey the health promoting principle of Tobacco Free Campuses. An alliance of partners is liable to achieve more than trying to enforce a policy without consultation and engagement.

Review Current Situation

Begin by documenting what the current situation with regard to smoking on the campus is.  For example, are there smoking shelters, are there places where smokers typically go to smoke, how many of your employees are smokers, are tobacco and related products sold on the campus, is this a shared campus and, if so, how that might that impact on your organisation’s approach to policy development and implementation.

Questions relating to productivity and absenteeism can help in quantifying the Return on Investment that a tobacco free campus policy could generate.

We developed a quick tool to help you develop a current situation statement in relation to the use of tobacco in your workplace campus.


Staff & Representative Bodies

Staff members and representative bodies as appropriate should be involved in the policy development stage. All staff members will have a role in facilitating and supporting the implementation of the policy. In addition, all employees should be requested to co-operate with any training that may be provided to facilitate implementation of the policy.

Your employees are ambassadors for your organisation and, should they choose to smoke outside campus grounds during work breaks, they would not be conveying the required message if they are identifiable as employees of your organisation. Security personnel can be assigned a role in ensuring compliance with this policy in line with normal security arrangements and responsibilities.

Staff Questionnaire

A survey of staff, and other stakeholders as appropriate, can be a useful way to identify the overall support for, or opposition to, a tobacco free campus. This survey can also help you find out how many smokers there are among your staff and gauge their concerns and the levels of interest in such a policy. It is important that the findings of any survey carried out are communicated to all staff.

The survey needn’t be very complex – we’ve created a survey in Google Forms that you can use to poll opinions from staff members.  The survey can be copied and added to your own website or Intranet and you can view results and charts of your polls as the survey progresses. A Word Version can also be downloaded.

You need a Google username and password to use the survey.  Full instructions on how to copy and use this tool are available on the website here.

Survey Tool

Service Users, Customers & Visitors

All service users and visitors will be expected to comply with the Tobacco Free Campus Policy while on your campus. If a service user decides to leave the campus grounds to smoke, they do so of their own volition.

Draft Policy

Develop the content of the policy. The principle of a Tobacco Free Campus is straight forward but the details require tailoring to each individual setting according to the needs of the organisation. For example your implementation group may need to answer such questions as:

  • What areas are to be included (all of the campus, all vehicles on campus)?
  • Who it applies to (all staff, visitors, suppliers, contractors etc.)?
  • Will it include e-cigarettes?
  • Will it apply to company sponsored meetings and events off premises?
  • What form will the communication plan take?
  • Who will be responsible for ensuring it happens as planned?
  • What training needs to be in place?
  • When will your start-date be (e.g. World No-Tobacco Day – 31st May)?
  • How much lead-in time will you need?
  • Is there a need to restrict/prohibit sales of tobacco and related products on the campus?

Use our policy template to create a draft Tobacco Free Campus/Workplace policy.  The draft policy can form the basis of initial conversations with decision makers.  The document tries to capture the areas of your business that may be impacted.

Sample Policy

Management Memo Template

Creating a Tobacco Free Campus requires commitment at the highest level to drive the change management process. It is important that a senior person within the organisation has responsibility for developing, communicating, implementing, evaluating and monitoring the policy. This will send a clear signal that the organisation is serious about the policy and will help build support for it.

A successful Tobacco Free Campus policy will require input from managers and supervisors. As well as playing a role in developing the policy, their tasks will include:

  • supporting, implementing and ensuring compliance with the policy;
  • ensuring all employees, service users, visitors and contractors are aware of the requirements of the Tobacco Free Campus policy;
  • co-operating with any training initiatives under the policy;
  • identifying, supporting and encouraging anyone who may find it hard to comply with the policy;
  • informing employees and service users of smoking cessation supports available;
  • managing instances of non-compliance;
  • informing all service users and visitors of the policy.

A template for a management memo is available for you to adapt and use.  Download the document and further advice on management buy-in.


Frequently Asked Questions

This initiative sounds like it doesn’t treat smokers with much compassion

The policy highlights the importance of treating tobacco addiction as a care issue. The HSE provide support including advice, information and smoking cessation support and tobacco dependence treatments to help deal with cravings. Staff should be offered assistance to quit smoking, or manage their smoking during working hours. This is about improving the health of our clients and staff and ensuring quality care for all.

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