Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program

Standards are reviewed annually and updated as necessary to ensure that Maine Institutions of Higher Education meet emerging best practice standards for tobacco-free policies and supporting tobacco-free lifestyles.

Download the 2022 Higher Education Gold Star Standards of Excellence Standards

2022 Higher Education Standards

  1. Tobacco-Free Policy. The institution of higher education has a 100% smoke and tobacco-free campus policy that prohibits all smoking and use of all tobacco products including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless and dissolvable tobacco products, chew, snuff, snus, hookah, pipes, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-hookahs, vape pen or any other product name or descriptor. This does not include products specifically approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the purpose of cessation or nicotine replacement therapy. Tobacco use by students, faculty, staff, visitors and contractors is prohibited at all times on the institution’s campus, including in parking lots, all vehicles parked on campus, at all satellite sites and other properties the institution owns and/or rents. The policy extends to all off-site meetings, trainings and conferences and in all institution owned or leased vehicles.
  1. Policy Communication. Written policies, procedures or plans that detail communication about the institution’s policy to community members, students, faculty, staff, visitors and contractors at the institution’s campus, all satellite sites, buildings and any other properties owned or leased by the institution.
  1. Policy Enforcement. Written policies, procedures or plans exist that detail compliance expectations, enforcement and awareness integration.
  1. Tobacco Education. Education about the dangers of tobacco use, exposure to tobacco smoke and information related to tobacco treatment resources are available and integrated into existing trainings, events and programs.
  1. Tobacco Treatment Benefits for Students & Employees. Tobacco treatment services are a covered benefit for individuals and their dependents insured through the student health insurance plan and employee health insurance plan. Benefits include coverage for counseling and medication for quitting tobacco, with minimal, or no barriers to utilization (i.e. copays, out of pocket costs, yearly limits).
  1. Tobacco Advertising. The school has a policy prohibiting the advertisement of tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, on the campus, including in advertising in institution media, such as newspapers, radio, and magazines.
  1. Tobacco Product Promotion and Distribution. The institution has a policy prohibiting the sale, promotion and/or free distribution of all tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, and paraphernalia, at all times, on campus and at all campus sponsored events, including by any student group or organization.
  1. Tobacco Funding to Campus-Supported Groups or Organizations. The institution has a policy prohibiting campus supported organizations and events from accepting donations, such as money or goods (such as all tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices and paraphernalia), from tobacco companies and retailers.
  1. Donations to College/University. The school has a written policy that it refuses all donations from the tobacco industry and divests itself of all tobacco industry stock.
  1. Smoke-Free Community Lodging. The institution includes information on 100% smoke-free options when providing campus visitors (i.e. prospective students, visiting athletics teams, etc.) local lodging information.