Policies reduce tobacco use.The vast majority of Maine residents believe that people should be protected from secondhand smoke exposure. Creating a smoke-free policy is a positive way to demonstrate your commitment to the health of those in your community.
Smoke-free and tobacco-free environments are becoming the norm rather than the exception in Maine. Implementing a policy for your organization can show your commitment to promoting a healthy environment, reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and supporting tobacco-free lifestyles.
Breathe Easy has developed sample smoke and tobacco-free policies that can be used as a template to create your own policy. Download the General Environment Template Policy
Ongoing enforcement is key to successful policy implementation and compliance. Enforcement needs to be consistent and prompt to any violation. Below are a suggested for enforcement strategies taken from Maine organizations that have gone smoke and tobacco-free.
- Signage: Appropriate signage is posted and physical boundaries are distinguished to denote the policy.
- Consistent messaging: All materials used to educate the campus community of the policy, including handbooks, orientation, and indoor and outdoor signage, etc. need to have consistent messaging.
- Shared responsibility: Give all campus community members the responsibility to enforce the tobacco-free policy. For example, have reminder cards available at key locations with the 100% tobacco-free message on it to hand out to people who are violating the policy.
- Assigned enforcement: Designate enforcement to a particular department or group on campus. Ensure the designated personnel have the proper tools, resources, and authority to respond to people who are violating the policy. Ensure everyone responsible for enforcement is trained how to talk with sensitivity and clarity to people who are violating the policy, and also when it is appropriate to call security.
- Consequences: Clearly explain expectations and violation consequences, these should be spelled out in the policy.
- Walkabouts: Conduct walkabouts around the campus with leadership of all levels during varied days and times to approach staff, visitors and contractors violating the policy to offer education and request compliance with the policy. Also look for litter to identify potential areas for repeated policy violations.
- Involvement in clean-up efforts: Utilize campus community members to assist with cleaning up tobacco-related litter waste on campus.
Policy Implementation Timeline
To ensure a comprehensive approach when addressing tobacco use and implementing a tobacco-free policy, it is important for organizations to provide information about the benefits of a policy and to be understanding of the concerns the organization’s community. This sample policy implementation timeline highlights steps taken by organizations in Maine who have gone smoke and tobacco-free. Each organization is unique and may need to follow slightly different steps on their way to adopting a new policy, this timeline provides a road map of engagement and communication steps to support that effort.
- Phase 1: Establish a Policy Committee (1-2 months)
- Phase 2: Develop a Policy (1 month)
- Phase 3: Train Staff and Educate Consumers (2 months)
- Phase 4: Prepare for Policy Launch (1 month)
- Phase 5: Implement your Policy (1 month)
- Phase 6: Maintain Long-Term Success (Ongoing)
Policy Technical Assistance
Local District Tobacco Prevention Partners (DTPP) can provide no cost technical assistance on policy adoption and implementation and provide tips on creating tobacco-free environments. View a full list of DTPPs by county on our CTI website or contact [email protected] to be connected to your local DTPP.