Employee violatorsSupervisor toolkitTown of Amherst

Voluntary compliance

The goal of the university is to achieve voluntary compliance with this policy through:

  • Education: Promoting awareness about the health and environmental consequences of all forms of tobacco.
  • Providing support: Availability to on-campus smoking cessation resources and supportive services. 
  • Community engagement: All members of the campus community share the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing the policy.

Employee violators

The majority of the UMass Amherst community is supportive of the initiative, and voluntary compliance has reduced tobacco use on campus. However, noncompliance remains an issue. The following guidelines can  assist supervisors in approaching employee policy violators:

Who this policy applies to:

The policy applies to all full-time, part-time, benefitted, non-benefitted, professional, non-professional, contracted, unionized, and non-unionized employees.

Supervisors' role:

As a strategic partner in the success of the tobacco-free initiative, your part is to support the policy. Be consistent in communicating the policy and addressing violations. 

  • Be informed: Know the fundamentals of the campus policy.
  • Educate: Communicate the policy courteously and non-confrontationally.
  • Support: Connect your employees with appropriate resources and services.
  • Take action: Hold employees accountable,  and address repeated violations consistently, in the same manner as you would other violations of university policy.

Supervisor toolkit: strategies and resources for compliance

What should I do if I find someone smoking or using a tobacco product on campus?

Members of the campus community are encouraged to respectfully inform smokers and other tobacco users that UMass Amherst is 100% smoke- and tobacco-free, including e-cigarettes (indoors, outdoors, parking lots, vehicles, open spaces). Communication regarding smoking and tobacco use should be informative and respectful.

Here are some talking points:

  • Remind users how their tobacco use influences our students – we need them to be role models
  • According to researchers, 99% of smokers begin before age 26.
  • Studies show that being in a tobacco-free environment prevents tobacco use.

Have a supply of tobacco-free reminder cards to use. They're available from:

  • The The UMass Amherst welcome center
  • University Health Services
  • The Campus Center information booth
  • You can also request some by emailing 

When facing a disciplinary situation, give the employee time to their side of the story

“We've received a complaint about your tobacco use on campus. What happened? Share the details – I'd like to hear your perspective."

Be respectful. Listen and have empathy for the employee’s situation

“I know that as a smoker or tobacco user, this policy may be difficult for you. I’m here to help you.”

Refocus the employee on the violation and ask them to come up with action steps to resolve the problem

“Now that we’ve discussed the importance of complying with the tobacco-free policy, how will you follow these guidelines in the future? Let’s talk specifically about what you'll do the next time you feel the need to use tobacco during work. How will you manage the situation?”

Summarize what the employee said

“So, what you’ve just said to me is..." Rephrase what you've heard.

Suggest possible alternatives, such as campus cessation resources.

Make sure they're aware of campus quit resources or support for those not ready to quit, but trying to adhere to the policy

“I’d like you to consider using these resources to help you get through your workday without using tobacco.”

  • Faculty Staff Assistance Program: (413) 545-0530 – cessation counseling for staff
  • Tobacco treatmenty specialist: (413) 545-2337cessation counseling for students
  • UHS medical appointments: (413) 577-5101 for prescription medication
  • Nicotine replacement therapy: discount vouchers are available at University Health Services. Ask a nurse or physician for one
  • Helpline/Quit Works: 1-800-QUIT-NOW free, confidential counseling throught the Massachusetts Department of Public Health 

Set up a future meeting to discuss progress

“Let’s meet again in two weeks to discuss how you're doing. It’s important to me that you succeed with your compliance plan. Please let me know anytime between now and our next meeting if you're having difficulty."

If policy violations continue, or if the person refuses to comply, take progressive disciplinary action

 “Your repeated violation of campus policy calls for progressive disciplinary action. As your supervisor, I need to take these steps to encourage you not to violate the policy in the future."

  • First violation: education only
  • Second violation: written warning
  • Third and continued violations: varying levels of suspension, beginning with a one-day suspension and increasing incrementally

Consult your departmental human resource professional; follow HR advice and policies

For additional campus support, contact Don Teres, Human Resources:, (413) 545-1821

Town of Amherst

Tobacco users are expected to be respectful of campus neighbors. This includes not congregating or littering on public or private property adjacent to the UMass Amherst campus. View the campus map to see the main campus' property boundaries outlined with a dotted grey line.