UCL Human Resources


No Smoking Policy

1. Purpose

1.1.  The purpose of this policy is to  

  • Promote a safe and healthy working environment for UCL staff, students and visitors
  • Clarify the UCL position on electronic cigarettes (vaping)
  • Support UCL staff and students who wish to give up smoking 

2. Scope

2.1.  This policy relates to all employees of UCL, temporary workers, contractors, students and visitors

3. Definitions  

Electronic Cigarette/ e-cigarette

battery-powered products that release a visible vapour that contains liquid nicotine which is inhaled by the user


the use of an e-cigarette

4. Policy

Smoking and vaping

4.1.  Smoking, vaping or being in possession of lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes is not permitted in any premises occupied or utilised by UCL staff, students and visitors, or in UCL vehicles.

4.2,  UCL also prohibits smoking/vaping immediately outside the entrances or open windows of any such premises.


4.3,  UCL does not permit workers to smoke or vape in company cars, vans or other transport provided for the purpose of work.

Electronic cigarettes

4.4,  UCL acknowledges that some employees may wish to make use of electronic cigarettes, particularly as an aid to giving up smoking.  Although they fall outside the scope of smoke-free legislation, UCL prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace for the following reasons:

  • Although they do not produce smoke, e-cigarettes produce a vapour that could provide an annoyance or health risk to other employees;
  • Some e-cigarette models can, particularly from a distance, look like real cigarettes, making a smoking ban difficult to monitor and creating an impression for other employees, students and visitors that it is acceptable to smoke on UCL premises.

Breaks/rest periods

4.5.  Employees who wish to smoke during the working day may be permitted reasonable breaks, in agreement with their line manager, provided these do not prevent them from satisfactorily carrying out their responsibilities and work duties. Work time lost to breaks unrelated to work activity should be made up as necessary. This applies equally to smokers and non-smokers.


4.6.  Any failure by an employee to comply with this policy may result in appropriate action being taken under the UCL Disciplinary Policy.

4.7.  Employees are also reminded that it is a criminal offence to smoke in smoke-free areas and doing so may carry a fixed penalty of £50 or prosecution and a fine of up to £200.

Assistance for employees wishing to stop smoking

4.8.  Additional information and support for employees wishing to stop smoking can be accessed through UCL Occupational Health Services.

4.9.  Reasonable requests from staff for time away from work to attend smoking cessation groups will be treated sympathetically.

5. Monitoring and Review

The operation of this policy will be kept under periodic review.

HR Policy & Planning 
March 2015