Below is a summary of the task force recommendations.
Communication is critical to the effective transition to a smoke-free campus. Given the transitory nature of our student population, significant communication is recommended following the implementation of this policy to ensure that it is firmly embedded into our culture. Global communications are needed for everyone; tailored communications are needed for faculty, staff and students.
Recommendation: The policy should be communicated and continually reinforced to all members and guests of the University community in a simple yet strategic marketing plan (campus announcements, website, and printed materials).
Clearly defined and communicated boundaries will help the community and guests adhere to the policy.
Recommendation, before July 2013: Post temporary signage announcing the new policy. Focus signs at existing smoking areas and points of entry to campus.
Recommendation, effective July 1, 2013: Modify current campus signage around all points of entry to campus, buildings and major public gathering spaces including parking lots. The signage should communicate that all University facilities, buildings and grounds are smoke-free zones.
*Dates subject to change based on procurement schedule.
Designated Smoking Areas
Due to our campus size and topography the task force expressed concerns regarding the safety of smokers. Two designated areas were identified for placement of smoking shelters bases on safety, accessibility and cost efficiency.
Recommendation: In accordance with VI-8.10. Section III, A, 3b of the USM smoke-free policy, construct two specific designated smoking areas on the UMBC campus. Designated areas will be removed from major pedestrian traffic.
Best practices elsewhere convinced the task force that consistent enforcement is essential to successful implementation of this policy. Initial strong policy enforcement is an effective tactic in helping bring about the desired change in the smoking culture and behavior on campus.
Recommendation: Enforcement will be managed by UMBC Police, who will contract an outside security agency as designated personnel to issue smoking citations. Additional enforcement authorities can also include the University Police and Residence Life staff.
During the add/drop period at the start of each semester, violators will receive verbal/written warnings and will not be subject to a fine. Following the add/drop period, faculty and staff who violate the policy will be subject to a $45 – $75 fine and progressive disciplinary procedures in accordance with the university’s human resources policies. Students who violate the policy following the add/drop period will be subject to a $45 – $75 fine and progressive disciplinary action through the Office of Student Judicial Programs. Visitors who violate the policy will be informed that UMBC is a smoke-free campus. Visitors who continue to violate the policy following a warning will be escorted off-campus.
The promotion of existing tobacco cessation support services will be designed to reflect the different types of support available to meet the diverse needs of faculty, staff and students who use tobacco products.
Recommendation: Continue promotion of existing tobacco cessation support services offered through University Health Services.
Assessment and Evaluation
Formal and planned assessment efforts regarding the impact of the policy and its implementation should be conducted to monitor implementation problems, geographic challenges, cost of implementation and overall policy compliance.
Recommendation: Conduct an annual evaluation to review whether modification to the implementation of the smoke-free policy is warranted.