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April 29, 2016

TO:   The UVM Community

RE:    Tobacco Free UVM Update

August 1, 2015 marked the implementation of the University’s Tobacco Free policy. Since that time, we have been impressed with the quality of communication and respect that has been apparent as the implementation process has moved forward.  We want to acknowledge and thank the UVM Community, including users and non-users of tobacco products, for what has been largely a smooth transition. 

We recognized at the outset that the successful implementation of this policy will take time, effort, and commitment on the part of all members of the University community. As expected, there have been some bumps in the road, and a few “hot spots” on campus where the use of tobacco is sometimes encountered, including the library area, University Green, and areas near the University of Vermont Medical Center.  It is important to acknowledge these problems, and to address them in a respectful and positive way.  

We respectfully request that tobacco users refrain from consuming tobacco products on UVM property, and that non-users communicate directly and politely with violators.  As we learned from other campuses, peer support, supervisory oversight, and voluntary compliance will lead ultimately to behavioral and cultural change, and mutually-respectful interaction among members of our community will be a key to success. 

The Tobacco-Free policy may be found here: Tobacco-Free Policy.  As the policy says:
Compliance efforts will focus on education and collaboration with campus constituencies.
It is expected that peer support, supervisory oversight, and voluntary compliance will lead to behavioral and cultural change, as has occurred at hundreds of institutions that have implemented tobacco-free policies.

UVM will provide information to assist managers, supervisors, students, faculty and staff with methods to address violations in a respectful manner. As with other University policies and practices, repeat offenders of the policy may be subject to existing disciplinary or other applicable procedures. Problems and chronic violations may be reported to: [log in to unmask].
Additional information and resources may be found on the Tobacco-Free website at: The Tobacco-Free UVM Health Initiative. We continue our strong commitment to supporting and assisting those who wish to stop using tobacco by providing access to effective smoking cessation programs with free or discounted costs and ongoing, long-term support.  For more information, go to: Find Help to Quit Using Tobacco.

We appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into the creation, assessment, and implementation of this policy. It is our hope that patience, respect, and constructive communication will be hallmarks of the ongoing implementation process, which, despite a few problems, has been a genuine success.  Tobacco use on campus has dropped significantly, reflecting our values in the areas of health, environmental responsibility, and concern for the health and wellbeing of all of the members of the UVM community.

With respect and appreciation,

Jan Carney and Tom Gustafson
Co-Chairs, Tobacco Free Steering Committee