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, 2010, and 2014 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 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 2,500 other colleges and universities are 100% smoke-free campus sites. 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 by accessing the resources on this website.

Physical Benefits of Living Tobacco-Free After:

12 hours

  • Your blood carbon monoxide level drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months

  • Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1-9 months

  • Coughing and shortness of breath decreases.
  • Your lungs and airways are more able to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year

  • Your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone still using tobacco.
  • Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.

5 years

  • Your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancers are reduced by half.
  • Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker.
  • Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

10 years

  • Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about one half that of a person who still smokes.

15 years

  • Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

Calculate your cost of smoking. 

CIGNA Health Care

CIGNA offers a wide variety of information on tobacco use and prevention 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 Wellness tab near the top of the page. Scroll down for Quit Smoking.

Cigna’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free, confidential services [including tobacco use and prevention] available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no cost to you or your dependent family members. Services are available up to eight sessions per issue.