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10 Gold Star Standards

Standards are reviewed annually and updated as necessary to ensure that Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative is encouraging organizations to meet emerging best practice standards for tobacco-free policies and to support tobacco-free lifestyles.

2017 Standards

1. Tobacco-Free Policy. The behavioral health organization has a 100% tobacco-free campus policy that prohibits the smoking and use of all tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, snus, electronic smoking devices and non-FDA approved electronic nicotine delivery systems. Smoking and tobacco use by employees, clients, visitors and contractors is prohibited at all times on the behavioral health organization property, including in parking lots, in personal vehicles parked on grounds, all organization owned or leased vehicles and at all satellite offices, buildings and any other properties owned or leased by the behavioral health organization.

2. Policy Communication. Written policies, procedures or plans detail the communication about the behavioral health organization’s policy (whether or not the policy is 100% tobacco-free) to clients, employees, visitors, contractors and at all satellite offices, buildings and any other properties owned or leased by the behavioral health organization.

3. Policy Enforcement. Written policies, procedures or plans detail policy expectations and enforcement, including how non-compliance is addressed.

4. Tobacco Advertising. Advertising or promotion of tobacco products is not allowed on the organization’s property including all satellite offices, buildings and any other properties owned or leased by the behavioral health organization. This includes publications and magazines subscribed to by the organization for placement in waiting areas.

5. Tobacco Dependence & Treatment Education. Information about tobacco dependence, secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke and local/state tobacco treatment resources are readily available to clients, employees and visitors. For example, educational brochures or posters are displayed in the lobby, waiting area and/or treatment rooms.

6. Screening for Clients for Tobacco Use and Dependence. All clients are screened for tobacco use at initial appointments and annually thereafter. Tobacco use status is documented and clients are offered comprehensive, evidence-based treatment services.

7. Evidence-Based Tobacco Treatment Incorporated for Clients. Clients identified as being tobacco dependent are offered comprehensive, evidence-based treatment services incorporated into treatment plan. This can include tobacco cessation counseling, clinical assessment and management for nicotine withdrawal and/or offering FDA-approved tobacco treatment medications.

8. Referral to Evidence-Based Tobacco Cessation Treatment for Clients Interested in Quitting. Clients identified as being tobacco dependent and interested in quitting tobacco are referred to evidence-based tobacco cessation treatment, such as the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.

9. Evidence-Based Tobacco Treatment Training for Employees. The behavioral health organization supports evidence-based tobacco treatment training for employees by offering in-services on tobacco treatment, supporting staff financially to attend trainings and/or providing access to literature and resources on-site for staff. Trained staff are available to provide treatment and counseling to tobacco-dependent clients.

10.Tobacco Treatment Benefits for Employees. Tobacco treatment services are a covered benefit in the organization health insurance package for employees and their dependents. Benefits include coverage for counseling and medication for quitting tobacco, with minimal, or no barriers to utilization (i.e. co-pays, out of pocket costs, limits, etc.).

Standards are reviewed annually and updated as necessary to ensure that Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative is encouraging organizations to meet emerging best practice standards for tobacco-free policies and to support tobacco-free lifestyles.