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What are the Steps in Tobacco-Free Policy Implementation?

Congratulations! You’ve completed the first half of the process – policy adoption. The next step is implementation. Use our resources to help you turn that policy into a reality on your campus. The most successful tobacco-free college policies are passed around six months before going into effect. The months between adoption and implementation are spent educating students, staff, faculty and the public about the policy and the free cessation resources tobacco users can use before the policy goes into effect. Here are steps you need to implement a tobacco-free campus policy:

Step One:

Develop your implementation plan as you are working on your adoption strategies.

As you follow the steps to policy adoption, develop your timeline to implement the policy so moving from adoption to implementation can be seamless.

Use our sample timeline to prepare your campus for implementation of a tobacco-free policy.

Step Two:

Form a tobacco-free policy implementation team committee.

Form a team to help you through the implementation process. This usually consists of a campus administrator, campus public affairs officer, student health professional, student representative(s), athletic director, faculty representative(s), staff representative(s) and others. Many teams have at least one tobacco user on them. This team meets regularly to set goals, implement strategies for policy implementation, ensure staff awareness about resources to help quit tobacco use and develop ways to inform the public about the policy. They will also help with evaluation.

Step Three:

Develop a compliance plan.

Your compliance plan will list ways your college/university will help support ongoing compliance with the policy. This includes steps like:

  • Posting adequate signs before the effective date.
  • Removing ashtrays and other places for tobacco product disposal.
  • Consider posters, flyers and banners to help educate about the policy, as well as tobacco cessation resources.
  • Providing staff and students with training on how to remind the public about the policy. Consider creating a video to help educate campus about the policy. Here’s an example from Binghamton University in NY, one from Emory University in Atlanta, and one from Portland Community College.
  • Arm students, faculty and staff with friendly reminder cards to help with education.

Step Four:

Communicate the policy.

Consider the people who need to know about the policy. Use the checklist to provide strategies in helping you communicate the policy.

Step Five:

Evaluate the policy’s effectiveness.

Collect stories about the policy’s effect on students, faculty and staff. Also solicit feedback about the policy from visitors. Identify problems with compliance, implementation and communication and develop solutions.

Remember, most violators simply need to be reminded of the policy. Use or adapt our handy reminder cards that include information on QuitlineNC.

PDF of this list available

NCDHHS, Division of Public Health
North Carolina Public Health