Smokefree and Vapefree Policy FAQs

Further detail about the 2021 policy change.

The University was already smokefree. Why update the policy and what are the changes?

The New Zealand legislation on Smokefree Environments (Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act), requires all indoor workplaces and the buildings and grounds of schools and early childhood centres to be smokefree and vapefree. Following consultation with students and staff in early 2021, the University’s Smokefree Policy has been updated to align with the new legislation. The main change is that both smoking and vaping are not permitted in University buildings or facilities, anywhere on campus grounds, or in University vehicles.

When does the new policy come into effect?

The policy comes into effect from Monday 19 July 2021 – the beginning of Semester Two. New signage will be installed across our campuses over the coming months (both fixed signage on University buildings as well as moveable footpath signs), which will provide a visual reminder of the new policy for students and staff.

Why is vaping being treated the same way as smoking, when it can be a harm reduction tool for those trying to quit?

Feedback from students and staff strongly supported the application of a consistent policy approach. Allowing vaping on campus grounds and not smoking, could cause confusion as to the University’s policy position. Placing the health and wellbeing of students and staff at the centre of this policy refresh, has seen the University adopt a consistent policy position, while at the same time providing support for those who wish to quit smoking.

What support is available for those who wish to quit smoking?


Students are able to access free information and resources about quitting smoking from University Health and Counselling and additional pop-up clinics for students will also be explored.


Free Smoking Cessation Clinics, run by researchers from the National Institute for Health Innovation in the School of Population Health, will be starting on Monday 26th July. This clinic provides an opportunity for staff to tap into high-quality, research-informed information, and access harm reduction products and other resources and support.

Led by Associate Professor Natalie Walker and Professor Chris Bullen the clinic is a free service for those who want help stopping smoking. The approach used is known as ‘withdrawal-oriented treatment’, comprising seven weekly face-to-face group sessions that deliver support and offer stop-smoking medications.

The first two sessions involve preparing people for their ‘Quit Date’ (the third session), with medication, if people want to use it, starting at either the first or second session. The final four sessions focus on moderating cigarette withdrawal sessions (typically lasting about a month), maintaining motivation not to smoke, and managing medication use.

The clinic starts on Monday 26 July, 12-1pm, in the Waitemata Room at 49 Symonds St (620-1170) and will run weekly through to Monday 27 September. You are welcome to join at any time. For more information, please contact Chris Bullen or Natalie Walker

What can I do if I see someone smoking or vaping on campus in breach of the new policy?

If you find you need to remind someone of the policy in and around buildings where you work, please be respectful and point them to the information on the website. You can let them know the policy has changed, and that both smoking and vaping is now not permitted anywhere on University campuses. Students and staff who wish to smoke or vape are asked to use nearby public spaces (surrounding streets or parks).

If there is a repeated issue with smoking or vaping in a particular location on campus, please notify Property Services who can investigate further, and look at signage or other requirements to support compliance.

Where can I smoke or vape when I am at the University?

Our campuses are intersected by, and close to, city or suburban streets and parks. These public spaces are deemed to be ‘off campus’ and are places where smoking and vaping is allowed.