Tobacco-free Policy

In the interests of reducing harm from tobacco use and secondhand smoke, providing an environment that encourages persons to be tobacco-free, reducing long-term health-care costs, and promoting a campus culture of wellness, Colby College has established a tobacco-free policy. Read policy >

Full Policy

In the interests of reducing harm from tobacco use and secondhand smoke, providing an environment that encourages persons to be tobacco-free, reducing long-term health-care costs, and promoting a campus culture of wellness, Colby College has established a tobacco-free policy.

For the purposes of this policy, tobacco use will be defined as the possession of any lighted tobacco products, or the use of any type of smokeless tobacco including electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco. The use of any such products will not be permitted on any College-owned property, including, but not limited to buildings, grounds, parking areas, walkways, recreational and sporting facilities and College-owned or leased vehicles.

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, clients, contractors, vendors and visitors, and will be in effect during and after normal campus hours as well as during all College sponsored events. In selected areas, “Tobacco-free Campus” signs may be posted to ensure that all understand the College’s commitment to a tobacco-free campus.

Employees and students who use tobacco and would like to quit have the opportunity to participate in tobacco cessation programs offered through Human Resources (employees) or the student Health Center (students).

Ultimately, the success of this initiative will depend upon the thoughtfulness, respect, and cooperation of everyone, and all members of our community will share the responsibility of following and enforcing the policy.


As an institute of higher learning, Colby has an obligation, and it is our honor, to provide a healthy atmosphere for students, faculty, staff, and visitors we welcome onto our campus. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and Surgeon General’s reports in 2006 and 2010 emphasized that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Q: Why should Colby become a tobacco-free campus?
A: Colby has a responsibility to its students, faculty, and staff to provide a safe and healthy environment. Research shows that tobacco use in general constitutes a significant health hazard and that secondhand smoke endangers nonsmokers.

Q: When does the tobacco-free-campus policy go into effect?
A: The final stage of the tobacco-free policy commenced October 1, 2013. This consisted of removing the areas where tobacco use is permissible.

Q: To whom does the tobacco-free policy apply?
A: The policy applies to anyone who is on the Colby College campus, including faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and visitors.

Q: Does the tobacco-free campus apply to smokeless tobacco products?
A: Yes, it applies to all tobacco and smoking products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, snus, and non-FDA-approved nicotine delivery services such as e-cigarettes.

Q: Where does the tobacco-free policy apply?
A: As of Oct. 1, 2013, the use of tobacco is prohibited throughout the Colby campus. Prohibited areas also include parking areas, athletic fields, and arenas. The policy also applies to Colby vehicles and off-campus Colby property not otherwise leased to another organization. Personal, private, leased, or borrowed vehicles not owned by the College, when on the Colby campus, are also prohibited areas for tobacco use.

Q: Isn’t this a violation of individual and civil rights?
A: No. Maine state law already requires Colby to provide a smoke-free environment inside buildings and at least 20 feet outside any building. Colby is permitted and has elected to go above the minimum requirement to include all the areas noted above.

Q: What resources are available to help those who would like to quit using tobacco?
A: A variety of helpful links are listed on the Human Resources Tobacco Cessation webpage.

Q: How is the policy being communicated to campus constituents and visitors?
A: Most of our communication will be through Colby’s official or general announcements. Supplemental signage and posters may be distributed, and other information may be posted online.

Q: How is the policy being enforced?
A: The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, respect, and cooperation of everyone. All faculty members, staff members, and students share the responsibility of following and enforcing the policy. In particular, each supervisor is responsible for ensuring his or her team members are educated about and comply with this policy. Any issues should be referred to the appropriate supervisor.

Q: What should I do if I see someone smoking or using another type of tobacco product in a non-designated area?
A: Ideally, you will be comfortable reminding the person about the policy. If you prefer, you may contact your supervisor or the person’s supervisor.

Q: Are there any changes to existing break policies to allow tobacco users to go off campus to use these products?
A: No. Employees will continue to get the same breaks and meal periods currently in effect, unless approved by their supervisor.

Q: How should supervisors discuss this new policy with employees?
A: Periodic reminders during scheduled team meetings and at key implementation times will be important. Supervisors are encouraged to communicate Colby’s tobacco cessation assistance opportunities to team members.

Q: Do I have to quit smoking or stop using tobacco to live/work/study at Colby?
A: The tobacco-free policy is not requiring tobacco users to quit but is more about maintaining a healthy environment and eliminating exposure to tobacco and secondhand smoke.

Q: How much will Colby save on health insurance for implementing this policy?
A: There are no immediate savings from implementing this policy. We do hope this policy and ongoing wellness programs help our employees reduce health risks. That may help prevent long-term insurance rates from increasing at the alarming rate they have in recent years.

Q: What other colleges and universities are tobacco-free?
A: More than 500 other colleges and universities prohibit the use of tobacco on their campuses. A list is available at:

Other Resources

Tobacco Cessation Resources

The benefits of quitting tobacco use begin after just 20 minutes, and after a year the added risk of heart disease is cut in half. Help yourself, a friend, or a family member be tobacco-free with the resources on this website.

Tobacco Cessation 5-Week Course

On-Site Class Schedule:

Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1: 30 p.m. starting October 16, 2013

Location:The Smith Room, Roberts Union

Register on or before October 14th at:

Physical Benefits of Living Tobacco-Free After:

20 minutes

  • Nicotine begins to leave your body
  • Pulse rate returns to normal
  • Blood pressure begins to decrease
  • Oxygen in blood returns to a normal level

2-3 days

  • Sense of taste and smell improve
  • Chance of heart attack decreases
  • Nerve endings in nose & mouth begin to re-grow

2-3 months

  • Circulation improves
  • Lung function increases up to 30%

1 Year

  • Sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decreases
  • Added risk of heart disease drops by 50%

Calculate your cost of smoking 

CIGNA Health Care

CIGNA offers two websites with a wide variety of information on smoking cessation for people who have CIGNA insurance.  You WILL need to log in to view the information, so you may need to create a new account. Once logged in to myCIGNA, click on the MyHealth tab near the top of the page. Look for the Tobacco Cessation topic.

Cigna Healthy Rewards, or Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers three programs to help you quit:

  • Healthy Roads for Living Tobacco Cessation
  • QuitNet
  • Tobacco Solutions
  • A Healthier Point of View: Living Tobacco Free brochures are available in the Human Resources office, feel free to pick up a copy.

NOTE:  Colby’s health plan does include some coverage for smoking cessation.  Call the number on the back of your ID card for details