UMM to Become a Tobacco-Free Campus on June 1
MACHIAS, Maine – The University of Maine at Machias will join a growing list of more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities when it becomes a tobacco-free campus in June. UMM President Cynthia Huggins announced the new policy on Earth Day.
When the policy takes effect on June 1, smoking and the use of all tobacco products will be prohibited on University property, in UMM vehicles, and in any personal vehicles on University property. The ban includes nicotine delivery devices, such as electronic cigarettes, that are non-FDA approved as cessation products.
“This policy isn’t meant to punish people who use tobacco products,” said President Huggins. “We are responsible for providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students, employees, and visitors.”
A task force led by members of UMM’s Wellness Committee developed the policy after spending the past year examining the tobacco-free policies of other campuses and gathering feedback from students, faculty, and staff.
According to the American Lung Association, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. With this in mind, the University’s policy aims to reduce harm from tobacco use and secondhand smoke.
“It is critically important that we develop an environment supportive of tobacco-free lifestyles, reduce the environmental impacts of cigarette litter, and prepare our students for employment in smoke-free environments following graduation,” said Huggins.
Over the next few months, the University will educate the campus community about the policy and work with students and employees who wish to quit their addiction to tobacco products. Beginning June 1, voluntary compliance will be expected with enforcement to begin on September 1.
For more information and resources, visit www.machias.edu/tobaccofree.