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Policy Statement

Rutherglen High School will, as far as practicable, provide a safe work environment for the health, safety and welfare of our students, staff, volunteers, and visitors.

On 1 July 2009 the Minister for Education exercised the power under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 to prohibit smoking in all government schools.


The purpose of this policy is to support public health objectives and ensure there is no smoking or use of e-cigarettes (commonly known as ‘vaping’) on school premises (buildings and grounds), within 4 metres of school entrances or at school sanctioned events held off-premises.

Department Policy

A person must not smoke cigarettes including e-cigarettes (regardless of whether they contain nicotine) within school premises and within 4 metres of any pedestrian access to school premises. Smoking in these places is a fineable offence.

Schools must display ‘No Smoking’ signs and enforce the ban to prohibit smoking and vaping on school premises (including buildings and grounds) and within 4 metres of school entrances. Schools must display the signs in such a prominent position at each entrance to make it clear that the area at or within 4 metres of that entrance is a ‘no smoking’ area.

Applying the Ban

The smoking/Vaping ban applies to:

  • anyone present on school premises during and after school hours including students, teachers, contractors, parents/guardians, or the wider community, such as sporting groups.
  • all activities that take place on school premises and school related activities (e.g., Debutante Balls, athletics carnivals, excursions).


  • where the school has responsibility for the student including school events and excursions held off school premises.


Smoking – The Minister’s determination to ban smoking defines “smoking” to mean “inhaling smoke from a cigarette, lighting a cigarette, or inhaling any other substance that results in exhaling smoke”.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) – defined as electronic devices which heat and vaporise liquids that may or may not contain nicotine or flavouring agents. The vapour is inhaled, simulating the act of smoking. Use of e-cigarettes is commonly referred to as ‘vaping’.

According to its ordinary definition in the Macquarie Dictionary “smoke” is defined as “the visible exhalation given off by a burning or smouldering substance” or “something resembling this, as vapour or mist”.

The vapours exuding from an e-cigarette reasonably fall within the Macquarie Dictionary definition of “smoke” and therefore are included in this ban.

Student Sanctions

Sanctions apply to students who are caught smoking/vaping or determined to be smoking/vaping because they were in a location or situation: ‐

  • where other students were smoking/vaping
  • or where there is clear evidence of recent smoking/vaping by students
  • or that has been declared out of bounds because it has been frequented by smokers

At the first instance, students will

  • be referred to the school nurse to discuss smoking/vaping health related concerns

At the second instance, students will

  • receive an internal suspension and be expected to complete an investigation related to smoking/vaping health related concerns

Subsequent instances, students will receive an internal or external suspension.

In all instances, the cigarettes/e-cigarettes will be confiscated and thrown in the bin or given to the police.

When it is obvious that a student has been exposed to a high level of cigarette smoke that has permeated their clothing such that it impinges on the comfort of others, they will be referred to their Year Level Coordinator and wellbeing for appropriate guidance and support.

Staff, Volunteers and Visitor Sanctions

Staff, volunteers, and visitors who breach this policy may result in disciplinary action and/or receive applicable fines.

Links and Resources for School, Parent & Student resources

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