The Star-Herald

University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College earn Breathe Easy gold

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine at Presque Isle and Northern Maine Community College recently earned Gold Awards from the Maine Tobacco-Free College Network at the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine in the 2018 Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program.

The program recognizes Maine institutions of higher education for their work to create and support tobacco-free environments and lifestyles. This is the fifth time the University has received a Gold Award.

The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine held an awards ceremony on March 29 to celebrate the efforts of Maine colleges and universities to address smoking and tobacco use on their campuses. UMPI was among 11 schools and two individual champions recognized for advancing campus tobacco-free policies, as well as prompting tobacco-free lifestyles.

Judges ranked institutions on how many of 10 “Gold Star Standards” they met, such as a tobacco-free campus policy; tobacco treatment information availability for students, faculty and staff; prohibiting tobacco product distribution on campus; and divestment of all tobacco investments.

Other Gold Star campuses are Central Maine Community College, Kaplan University, Kennebec Valley Community College, Maine Maritime Academy, Saint Joseph’s College, Treat Your Feet School of Reflexology, University of New England, University of Southern Maine and York County Community College.

According to the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence, creating tobacco-free social norms by adopting strong policy language, educating about the harmful effects of use and exposure, and providing support in quitting will help reduce the number of young adults that become daily tobacco users.

In 2013, UMPI announced its major effort to provide a healthy and productive work and learning environment for students, employees and visitors by moving to a Tobacco-Free Campus. UMPI’s Tobacco-Free Campus Policy went into effect on June 1, 2013.

For more information about the Maine Tobacco-Free College Network, visit its website at www.mainetobaccofreecollegenetwork.org.

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