July 1, 2013

Dear University of Maryland community:

Today a new policy takes effect that will make the University of Maryland a smoke-free institution. The policy, adopted by the Board of Regents last year, required that every institution in the University System of Maryland develop a plan to achieve this goal. The policy applies to everyone on campus, including visitors and contractors. It covers all buildings and all campus property, except for four designated smoking areas.

The Campus Affairs Committee of the University Senate reviewed the USM policy and made recommendations for the UMD-related policy. The University of Maryland strives at all times to provide a respectful, supportive environment. This smoke-free policy is no exception, and I ask each of us to do our part.

We have an opportunity to make this a constructive experience that will promote our community’s health and wellbeing, and at the same time provide support to those who want help to quit smoking. We have considerable smoking cessation resources on campus, such as those available at the University Health Center. More specific information is available online at smokefree.umd.edu.

Thank you for your assistance and support. We must all work together to implement this new policy for the benefit of our entire University community.

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland

The flagship institution of the University System of Maryland is now a smoke-free campus.

There are tremendous resources available to help you quit smoking.  For example, did you know the State of Maryland has “quit coaches” to offer with advice and support?  Visit their website at www.smokingstopshere.com or  1-800-QUIT-NOW (staffed 24/7).

If you prefer a more traditional smoking cessation program, contact the University Health Center or your private health care provider.

One UMD employee who is a former smoker recommends the book You Can Stop Smoking (1995) by Jacqueline Rogers.  It is available for the Kindle or iPad, and has a five-star rating on Amazon.

Make this the year you quit smoking, eat healthier, and move more.  Think how good you’ll feel next year this time when you reflect on what you’ve accomplished and how much money you’ve saved!

Here’s to your good health!  Cheer the Turtle!

Internet Resources:






I. Purpose and Scope

a. Purpose. This policy establishes standards and requirements to provide a smoke-free environment for all UMD faculty, staff, students, and visitors, in compliance with the Board of Regents Policy on Smoking at USM Institutions (VI – 8.10).

b. Scope. This policy applies to all UMD students, faculty, staff, contractors and employees of contractors providing services at UMD, agents, guests, and visitors.

c. The following policy, VI-8.10(A) Policy on Smoking at University of Maryland, replaces any policies or procedures previously established at the University of Maryland that are in conflict with the purpose, applicability, or intent herein.

II. Definitions

a. “Institutional Property” means any property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled or operated by UMD, including buildings, other structures and grounds, and vehicles owned or leased by the institution.

b. “Smoking” means carrying or smoking a lighted tobacco product or the burning of any material to be inhaled including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes.

III. Prohibitions on Institution Property

a. Prohibitions against Smoking

i. Consistent with Maryland law, smoking is not permitted in any institution building, including academic buildings, residence halls, administrative buildings, other enclosed facilities, or vehicles, except as provided in Section III(a)iii, below.

ii. Smoking is prohibited on all institution grounds and property, including walkways, parking lots, and recreational and athletic areas, except as provided in Section III(a)iii, below.

iii. Smoking in and on institution property will be permitted only as follows:

1. For controlled research, and educational, theatrical, or religious ceremonial purposes, with prior approval of the President or the

President’s designee;

2. In limited and specifically designated areas on University property and areas leased to third parties as may from time-to-time be approved by the President; or

3. Subject to any other exception to this policy recommended by the President and approved by the Chancellor.

b. Prohibitions against Sale. The sale of tobacco and smoking-related products is prohibited on institution property.

IV. Smoking Cessation Assistance

a. Assistance Programs. The University Health Center shall make available smoking cessation assistance to students, faculty and staff, which may include opportunities to participate in smoking cessation seminars, classes, and counseling and the availability of smoking cessation products and materials.

b. Smoking Cessation Information. The University Health Center shall be designated to answer questions, refer students and employees to on-campus and outside resources, and otherwise provide information about smoking cessation assistance options and opportunities.

V. Implementation Process

a. This policy shall be administered by the Division of Administration and Finance.

b. Communication. The University shall provide initial and ongoing information to communicate the requirements of this policy, including:

i. Dissemination of the key elements of the policy to faculty, staff, students, and others on websites and in appropriate written materials; and

ii. The placement of exterior and interior notices and signs announcing that smoking is prohibited.

c. Community Outreach. The University will engage in outreach to the community, as appropriate, to facilitate coordination with local government authorities and to assist residents and businesses near the institution in preventing trespass and littering that may

result if members of the campus community seek to smoke in nearby off-campus areas.

d. Consequences. The University may establish appropriate procedures and consequences, which may include fines or disciplinary measures, for violations of this policy.

e. Implementation. The provisions of this policy shall be implemented at the University of Maryland no later than June 30, 2013.


Talking Tips


  • Please be respectful and listen. Empathize.

    Script idea: “I know this new smoking policy may be difficult for you. Let me help you identify resources to help you stop smoking. For example, were you aware that the University Health Center offers smoking cessation support?”

  • Talk to your smoking employees to provide information regarding breaks and resources. Help establish a connection to smoking cessation programs at the University Health Center and through the Employee Benefits Program in the Chesapeake Building.

    Script ideas: “I know you already have information about your breaks during the workday. Would you like me to show you where the health center is located on a campus map? For more information, you can call (301)314-9629 and they will be happy to schedule an appointment with you.


    You may not be aware, but as a state employee, if you are enrolled in our health insurance program, the Caremark prescription plan covers certain smoking cessation treatments such as Zyban. You may want to talk to your doctor about that. There are also quit coaches available through the State. You can find more information about that on smokefree.umd.edu.”

  • Be polite, and be direct. Make it clear that the University is counting on all members of the community to comply with this important policy.

    Script idea: “We are concerned about the health and wellbeing of our employees, and we want to support your efforts to quit smoking. We ask you to commit to the policy and cooperate so that you will be healthier and our campus free from cigarette litter.”


  • If you have an employee with repeat violations of the policy, refocus on the policy itself and engage the person in action planning to resolve the problem.

    Script idea: “Chris, now that we’ve discussed the UMD Smoke-Free policy, what steps are you going to take to ensure the policy isn’t violated again? How do you plan to handle the urge to smoke when the situation arises?”

  • Check-in with your smoking employees at regular intervals to monitor their progress in respecting the policy.

    Script idea: “Let’s meet again in a few weeks to discuss how you’re doing. You are important to me and I want to make sure you have the support you need to succeed in this plan. Call me any time if you’re having difficulties.

  • Keep reinforcing smokefree.umd.edu.

  • What is the UMD’s Smoke-Free Policy?

    The Smoke-Fee policy prohibits tobacco and smoking-related products on institution property (owned, leased or controlled), except as designated by the President.

  • Who does the policy affect?

    The policy affects all UMD faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors.

  • Where can I find the policy?

    Policy VI-8.10(A) is available on smokefree.umd.edu or on the policy website.

  • How was this policy developed?  Was the campus involved?

    On June 22, 2012, the USM Board of Regents approved VI-8.10 “Policy on Smoking at USM Institutions” and required that each constituent institution develop implementation procedures by June 30, 2013.


    On this campus, the University Senate was charged with developing UMD’s policy and implementation procedure. The Senate’s Campus Affairs Committee began their work by surveying students, faculty, and staff, and they received over 2,900 responses. The survey covered topics such as smoking habits, awareness of the new Smoke-Free policy, and views toward having designated smoking areas. The CAC also studied best practices at peer institutions regarding prevention and education, as well as enforcement practices. Following the CAC’s research and analysis, a draft policy was developed that was ultimately endorsed by the full University Senate, and approved by President Loh on May 2, 2013.

  • How is this policy being communicated?

    The formal communications strategy began with the President’s message to the University community on July 1, 2013. At that same time, the message was communicated on the University’s homepage, smokefree.umd.edu became available, and appropriate signage began to be sited strategically on the campus. There will be additional communications throughout the summer and as students arrive back in the fall.

  • Are there any areas I can smoke on campus as I work toward quitting?

    There are four locations on the campus that have been designated by the President for this purpose (online map):

    1. South of Ellicott Hall, between Byrd Stadium and the lacrosse practice field

    2. South side of McKeldin Library, facing Somerset Hall

    3. North of the Riggs Alumni Center, near the entrance to the parking garage on Stadium Drive

    4. South side of Xfinity Center, to the left of the main staircase

    In addition, there is no prohibition from smoking in personal vehicles.

  • What should I do if I see someone smoking on the campus?

    Faculty, staff, and students who observe someone smoking outside of the designated areas should respectfully inform the person that the institution became Smoke-Free on June 30, 2013. Suggest they visit smokefree.umd.edu for more information or if they seek assistance.

  • What happens if I violate the policy?

    The initial emphasis of the policy’s implementation is to broaden awareness within the community and help make connections to smoking cessation programs and other informational resources. However, all members of the UMD community should comply with this policy as they are expected to comply with other University governance policies.