Policy Guidelines

Gold Star Standards of Excellence

As institutes of higher education, Maine colleges, universities, technical schools, trade schools and other postsecondary education programs seek to create a healthy and safe environment to learn, live and work.  The adoption of a tobacco-free campus policy is an example of this commitment and benefits students, staff, faculty and campus visitors.  The Maine Tobacco-Free College Network, an initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, wants to recognize colleges and universities that have worked hard to make their campuses tobacco-free with the Gold Star Standards of Excellence awards program. 

1. The college/university campus is 100% tobacco-free.  Tobacco use by staff, faculty, students and visitors is prohibited at all times in all college/university affiliated buildings, on all college/university grounds and at all off-campus meetings, conferences and fundraisers.  (Tobacco use is defined as the use of any tobacco product, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, chew, snuff, snus, and non-FDA approved nicotine delivery systems, such as electronic cigarettes.)

2. Appropriate signage explaining the campus policy is posted at key locations, including entrances to campus, buildings, parking lots and on the grounds.

3. Educational materials about tobacco use, treatment opportunities, secondhand smoke and the campus tobacco policy are readily available for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

4. Tobacco education, prevention and treatment related information and resources are integrated into existing trainings, events and programs.

5. Tobacco treatment services are a covered benefit in the college/university's insurance package for employees and dependents and in the offered student insurance plan.

6. The advertisement and/or promotion of tobacco products is not allowed on the college/university campus or at satellite facilties, including advertising in university publications, such as newspapers and magazines.

7. The sale and/or free distribution of tobacco products and paraphernalia is prohibited on campus and at all campus sponsored events, including by any student group or organization.

8. Campus supported organizations and events are prohibited from accepting money or goods from tobacco companies.

9. The college/university has a written policy stating that it refuses all donations from the tobacco industry and divests itself of all tobacco company stock.

10. The college/university provides information on 100% smoke-free local lodging to campus visitors.

Gold Star Standards of Excellence Recognition Program.

All Maine colleges and universities that meet at least five of the ten Gold Star Policy Standards are invited to apply for recognition through the MTFCN Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program.  Addressing tobacco use and creating a tobacco-free environment are ongoing processes, so the Network encourages previously recognized schools to reapply each year to be highlighted for these efforts. Applications will be accepted each year.


2015 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program

The application for the 2015 Gold Star Standards of Excellence program will be released in late December 2014.  For your information, you can review the 2014 Application and application guide document, featuring sample best answers from past award recipients and other guidance, until the 2015 application is released.


Congratulations to the 2014 MTFCN Gold Star Standards of Excellence Award Winners

Any Maine institution of higher learning who meets at least five of the above ten policy standards is welcome to participate in the program fall.  See our tobacco-free campus support tools below for tips on how to meet each of these standards. 

Past Gold Star Standards of Excellence Winners:

2012 Awaard Recipients

2011 Award Recipients


The tobacco-free campus policy standards were initially derived from the American Cancer Society's Smoke-Free New England Campus Initiative 7-step plan for policy development and the American College Health Association's position statement on tobacco-free colleges.

Tobacco Free Campus Support Kit

The Maine Tobacco-Free College Network (MTFCN) is pleased to present you with this tobacco-free campus support packet. The purpose of this packet is to provide you and your faculty/staff with free resources and materials that will make it as simple as possible to move toward and/or implement a 100% tobacco-free campus policy.  We hope that these materials will be helpful for all types of higher learning institutions, including colleges, universities, technical schools, trade schools, and other post-secondary education programs. For your convenience, all materials can be downloaded as word documents for easy editing to match your needs.


       Tobacco-Free Campus Support Kit (PDF)    

If you would like to receive a free hard copy of the MTFCN Policy Support Kit, please contact us at (207)874-8774 or info@mainetobaccofreecollegenetwork.org.

Learn more about adopting tobacco-free college policies and the Maine Tobacco-Free College Network policy standards from the September 2011 Presentation from the MTFCN.

Additional how-to guides to policy development can be found at the following websites:

American Cancer Society's Smoke-Free New England Campus Initiative

BACCHUS and GAMMA's Tobacco Free U

Journey of a Lifetime: One Step at a Time to a Tobacco-Free Campus.
In this manual on pages 26-29, you will find steps for policy change as well as lessons learned from other campuses and answers to frequently asked questions about tobacco control policies.