Smokefree Policy

Smokefree Policy

Here you will find information that may be of use to your organisation in progressing its smokefree direction.

Organisational Commitment

Sample Smokefree policy template

Sample Organisation Smokefree Statement

Commitment to smokefree and staff recruitment

The staff recruitment process presents an excellent opportunity to let candidates know about your organisation's smokefree policy and views regarding supporting both staff and service users who smoke to quit

An example of how one could say this during the recruitment process would be:
"...I'd like to let you know that here at (organisation) we feel strongly that it is our role as a health care provider to provide the best possible support for our staff and service users to become smokefree. We have a Smokefree Policy which outlines, amongst other things, that staff can only smoke offsite and out of uniform. We have people trained within the organisation who can provide staff and clients support to become smokefree"

Integrating ABC into processes and client information systems 

The way that client's smoking status is assessed will vary depending on the organisation and service type. There are many ways to ask (A) people if they are currently smoking cigarettes, provide them brief (B) advice, and provide or refer them for cessation (C) support.

It is often ideal for A, B and C to be integrated into existing organisational systems (eg. initial assessment forms) so that:

  • 1. staff are prompted to use this approach, and
  • 2. that this information is captured in a consistent way throughout the organisation or service

A, B and C can also be integrated into data management/ client information systems which will allow for monitoring of smoking status, quit rates and initiating reminders to reconfirm current smoking status (eg. six monthly). 

Additional Smokefree policy advice and information

Contact any of the organisations below or one of the Smokefree Health Promotion Advisors at the Southern District Health Board at or

  • Public Health South
  • The Smokefree Coalition
  • ASH (Action on Smoking and Health NZ)

Smokefree Environments & Premises - FAQs

Why should our organisation have Smokefree premises? 

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in New Zealand and we're helping work towards the national goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.

Our organisation is committed to protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of its staff and clients.

Being a Smokefree organisation promotes healthy lifestyles, which is important to the way we want to support our clients and staff. We recognise our responsibility as a health care provider not to promote or encourage tobacco use.

For these reasons, we need to look at ways to support people to be Smokefree rather than reinforcing smoking as a 'normal' thing to do when it has so many detrimental effects.

Where can I get 'no smoking' signs to put around our organisation's premises?

Pamphlets, posters, stickers, leaflets, teaching kits, videos and other health promotion publications can be ordered free of charge through the Health Education Website and the Auahi Kore Website.

What are the benefits to Smokefree sites?

  • Health gains to staff and clients
  • No exposure to cigarette smoking or second hand smoke
  • Less litter
  • Decreased fire risk
  • Promotes organisation image as a community leader in health and wellbeing

Isn't the Smokefree policy is an infringement of human rights?

  • The Smokefree policy is not about whether you can smoke. It's about where you can smoke. People may not smoke on our organisation's premises
  • It is every staff member's right to a workplace free from health hazards (including exposure to cigarette smoke)
  • We have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace and to protect staff, clients and visitors from the known hazards of second-hand smoke.

Who will enforce the Smokefree premises?

  •  Most people comply in good faith with Smokefree premises, so Smokefree external spaces are generally self-enforcing. New Zealanders are now very familiar with the concept of not smoking in certain places with most people having experienced Smokefree outdoor policies in action at sports stadiums, schools, hospital grounds, marae and at outdoor cultural even
  • All staff should be encouraged to enforce the Smokefree policy as necessary, by politely asking anyone smoking to move offsite
  • A Smokefree policy is enforced by staff in the same manner in which they currently enforce other policies, such as property defacement, harassment etc.

Is it best to have designated smoking areas and phase them out later?

  • Designated smoking areas (such as gazebos and shelters) send a message that smoking outside is acceptable and is the norm within the organisation
  • Smokers often perceive the presence of smoking areas as a signal that it's okay to smoke elsewhere and that they can continue to smoke in non-designated areas
  • Designated smoking areas can also tend to become 'owned' or 'colonised' by smokers and a phasing out of smoking sites can prove extremely hard with resulting feelings of resentment amongst staff and others who might smoke.

Won't the Smokefree policy push smokers onto the street and give our organisation a bad look?

  • It's important to remember that our primary focus is to help those smokers who are keen to address their smoking to become Smokefree
  • As the Smokefree policy becomes normalised the numbers of smokers will decrease due to successful quit attempts or because of the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as a tool to help them manage their nicotine dependence
  • When people who smoke comply with Smokefree policy and smoke offsite, there is a risk smokers will congregate on crown land and that smoking will become more visual to the public, giving rise to concerns about our organisation's image. Since the introduction of the Smokefree Environment's Bill, which banned smoking in indoor work places, most members of the public are used to seeing people smoking in external areas without appropriating blame or guilt by association to the organisation
  • The sight of people smoking on crown land in front of our organisation is generally seen by the public as a healthy, positive sign that we are committed to having no association between health and tobacco.

Smokefree Legislation

  • Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 - click here
  • Smoke-free Environments Regulations 2007 - click here