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Policy Enforcement

Ongoing policy enforcement is key to a successful policy implementation and compliance. Enforcement needs to be consistent and prompt to any violation. Below are a suggested for enforcement strategies taken from tobacco-free college and university policies in Maine.

  • Signage- Appropriate signage is posted and physical boundaries are distinguished to denote the policy. See sample tobacco-free signage templates.
  • Consistent messaging- All materials used to educate the campus community of the policy, including student and employee handbooks, orientation, and indoor and outdoor signage, etc. need to have consistent messaging.
  • Community enforcement- Give all employees and students 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.
  • Consequences- Clearly explain expectations and violation consequences, these should be spelled out in the policy. For example, some schools require annual acknowledgement of the tobacco policy for employees and other organizations use a progressive disciplinary action or fines for violations.
  • Train those responsible for enforcement-  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. Include a short talking points card that individuals can learn. Emphasize the policy is not about making people quit. It is about maintaining a healthy environment for all.
  • Walkabouts- Conduct walkabouts around the campus with leadership of all levels and students 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 students and staff to assist with cleaning up tobacco-related litter waste on campus.

The tobacco-free policy should define the enforcement strategies for the policy for student, employee and visitor infractions.