The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence Tobacco Prevention Services held an awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 28, to celebrate the efforts of 10 Maine colleges and universities in their efforts address smoking and tobacco use on campus. The event celebrated the 2017 Breathe Easy Coalition Tobacco-Free College Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program award recipients. In addition, three individual champions were also recognized for their achievements to support their campus smoke and tobacco-free policy and promote tobacco-free lifestyles for their campus community.
The 2017 Awardees include: at the Gold level, meeting all 10 standards: Central Maine Community College, Kaplan University, Kennebec Valley Community College, Maine Maritime Academy, Northern Maine Community College, Saint Joseph’s College, University of Maine at Presque Isle, University of New England, University of Southern Maine and York County Community College. The three Individual Gold Star Champions were also recognized: Bryanna Smith, a student intern from York County Community College, Deidra Davis from Maine Maritime Academy and Karen Normandin from Kennebec Valley Community College.
“The Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program is intended to recognize the hard work many have invested to helping Maine colleges and universities be tobacco-free. Their efforts contribute to making environments throughout Maine not only be tobacco-free, but a healthier place to live, learn, work and play,” said Kristen McAuley, Director of Tobacco Prevention Services at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence.
The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program recognizes institutions of higher education for the efforts to address smoking and tobacco use on campus. All Maine colleges and universities are encouraged to apply for recognition; participating institutions that meet at least six of 10 standards are recognized with a plaque. Award levels are based on evidence-based, best practice criteria such as a smoke and 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.
The Tobacco-Free College initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition is part of the Tobacco Prevention Services at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence, funded by Maine Prevention Services. To learn more about Tobacco-Free College Gold Star Standards of Excellence, please visit MaineTobaccoFreeCollegeNetwork.org/GSSE