The University of Maine adopted a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus policy, effective Jan. 1, 2011. In keeping with a growing trend at colleges and universities around the U.S., UMaine extended its long-time prohibition on smoking inside buildings to include campus grounds. The new policy applies to all tobacco and smoking products.
This initiative represents an extension of UMaine’s student and employee wellness initiatives, all aimed at fostering a healthier, more productive living/learning environment while working toward reduced healthcare costs.
UMaine will provide assistance to those members of the university community who wish to overcome tobacco addictions.
The university announced in early 2007 its plans to move toward this policy. Since then, a committee made up of students, staff and faculty members has been examining relevant issues and preparing for implementation.
UMaine’s former policy was outdated, as it failed to take into account abundant scientific evidence that clearly shows the severe health consequences of tobacco use. The university has moved from allowing tobacco sales on campus and smoking in all buildings during the 1980s to policies prohibiting smoking in university buildings and vehicles, along with property within 20 feet of building entrances. The next logical step, which has been encouraged by students and employees, is to extend that prohibition to the entire campus and to include smokeless tobacco, which is an equally serious health threat to those who use it.