UCL Human Resources


No Smoking Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to

  • Promote a safe and healthy working environment for UCL staff, students and visitors
  • Support UCL staff and students who wish to give up smoking

2. Scope

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

3. Definitions

Smoking: Use or carrying of any lit tobacco product, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars and shisha

Vaping: Use of an electronic cigarette or similar device that produces a visible vapour

UCL vehicle: Any cars, vans or other transport provided by UCL for the purpose of work

4. Policy

Smoke-free estate

4.1 Smoking and vaping are prohibited in any buildings occupied or utilised by UCL staff, students and visitors, or in UCL vehicles.

4.2 Smoking is prohibited in all outside areas of the UCL estate including, but not limited to, all open/public spaces such as Malet Place, Foster Court, the Quad, the Wilkins Terrace and the Japanese Garden. It also includes any outdoor areas at the back of UCL buildings.

4.3 Where UCL building entrances open onto public footpaths, smoking is prohibited within 5 metres of the entrance and outside open building windows. For buildings which are shared with other tenants (which includes our buildings associated with the NHS Trusts), the policy of the building owner will prevail.

4.4 UCL acknowledges that some employees may wish to use vaping as a way of stopping smoking.  While it permits vaping in open spaces, vapers are requested to show consideration for others and avoid vaping near entrances and open windows and to cease vaping or move if asked to by a bystander.

Breaks/rest periods

4.5 Employees who wish to smoke or vape 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 smoking or vaping breaks should be made up as necessary.


4.6 Violation of this policy may result in action being taken under the UCL Disciplinary Policy.

4.7 UCL staff, students, visitors and contractors are also reminded that it is a criminal offence to smoke in smoke-free areas and doing so may result in a fine of up to £200.

Support for stopping smoking

4.8 UCL wishes to provide as much support as possible for those who wish to stop smoking. Clear advice on the best ways of stopping is provided at NHS Live Well. Also UCL has an arrangement with the Camden based smoking cessation service, Breathe. This support is available to the whole UCL community, if you would like to learn more about the support available then visit the wellbeing website or call the Breathe team direct on 020 3633 2609.

4.9 Reasonable requests from staff for time away from work to attend smoking cessation support sessions run by Breathe, Camden based smoking cessation services will be treated sympathetically.

HR Employment Policy Team

September 2019