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 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

“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
  • Acupuncture:  Acupuncture can be an effective adjunct to cessation treatment. UHS' Acupuncture Clinic is open to students, faculty and staff by appointment; call (413) 577-6511.
  • 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 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.