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Communication Checklist for Tobacco-Free Policy Implementation

Top Priorities:

  1. Implementation date defined.
  2. Create a campus administration implementation team.
  3. Order free signage from Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (919) 707-5400; think strategically about entrances and high-need areas.
  4. Set date to remove all ashtrays and smoking material receptacles that currently exist on campus.
  5. Develop a communication plan (ideas below).
  6. Create a plan for handling violations
    1. Create reminder handouts for distribution at outdoor sporting events and other potential problem areas.
    2. Train administrators, staff, students and community volunteers to politely remind folks seen violating the policy to respect school policy.

Communication to Students 

  • Post tobacco-free campus signs strategically at entrances of buildings, grounds, parking lots, and in vehicles. 
  • Place details in student handbooks and orientation guides and at student orientation meetings; include an explanation and justification of the policy, outlines the consequences for violations, as well as asks for support in compliance and enforcement of the policy.
  • Spread the information through campus organizations, activities, newspapers/newsletters, web pages and social media posts. 
  • Place cessation information at student health center(s) if applicable; educate students about tobacco cessation support resources such as 1-800-QUITNOW or
  • Involve student groups, particularly those associated with health-related majors, to promote the policy change within their peer groups.
  • Use social media to your advantage in getting the word out; ask students to share the information.

Communication to Faculty, Staff, and Contractors

  • Provide faculty and staff with a copy of the policy and an email explanation from the College president. 
  • Discuss the policy at faculty/staff meetings and new staff orientation. 
  • Include policy information at in-service training for campus faculty/staff. 
  • Include information in faculty/staff communications.
  • When contracting with others for various projects on campus be sure it is spelled out that this is a tobacco-free campus for everyone, including contractors
  • Educate staff about tobacco cessation support programs such as 1-800-QUITNOW or
  • Inform potential faculty/staff of the new policy in job interviews and on job applications.

Communication to The Public 

  • Include an article outlining the policy and implications of the policy in campus newsletters, e-newsletter, social media and local/community newspapers. 
  • College president writes a guest editorial to the local paper explaining the rationale for the policy. Inform alumni groups of the policy by including information in alumni publications.
  • Inform community organizations that use campus facilities of the policy through language in the facility use contract.
  • Use social media to your advantage in getting the word out; ask students to share the information.
  • Announce the new policy at events, meetings, concerts and plays. Info can be placed in brochures or bulletins when there is an event open to the public.

Additional Activities for the Effective Date

  • Send out a press release publicizing policy.
  • Set up tables at well-traveled areas on campus to provide materials 
    that celebrate the policy and give away information about cessation opportunities.
  • Announce policy at athletic events, meetings and other student and faculty events.
  • Post a copy of the policy and a list of cessation resources around campus.

NCDHHS, Division of Public Health
North Carolina Public Health