Tobacco-Free Environment Policy Toolkit

Journey is Tobacco-Free
Journey Mental Health’s Tyson Rittenmeyer

This online toolkit was created to support behavioral health organizations implement a smoke or tobacco free environment at their facilities. The materials are intended for agency clinicians and administrators.

Navigate the toolkit by clicking on a question below. Explore links, videos, and additional questions within each section. There are blank tools – noted TOOL – throughout. Download and print TOOLS to use at your organization.

How to enact a policy

Getting Started

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Why do we need a tobacco free environment policy at our facility?

Why do we need a rule about tobacco use in substance use treatment settings?

Are tobacco free policies effective?

Create a Wellness Committee

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Who should be part of the committee?

What topics should the committee address?

How do we address tobacco use at our facility into a wellness initiative?

Draft Your Policy

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What should be included in a tobacco free environment policy?

What is the difference between a tobacco free and smoke free policy?

What facility areas are covered by a tobacco free policy?

Who should be covered by the tobacco free policy?

What about tobacco odors and tobacco products paraphernalia?

How do we enforce a tobacco free policy? What are the consequences for policy violations?

Is there an example policy template we can use?

Is there a model policy that we can adapt/modify for our facility?

Communicate Your Plan and Policy

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When and how do we tell clients, staff, volunteers, visitors about the new policy?

Is there a sample tobacco free policy announcement we can use?

Is there a sample letter we can share with clients?

How do we build support for a tobacco-free environment?

Who else do we need to inform about the policy?

Implement Your Policy

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When and how should we launch a new policy?

How can we create support for the policy at our facility?

Implementing a tobacco free policy will challenge our clients who use tobacco. What is the most effective way to support them?

How can we support staff who use tobacco?

Enforce Your Policy

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How do we enforce a tobacco free environment?

Who is responsible for enforcing the policy?

What are the consequences for violating the policy?

How do we equip staff, clients, and volunteers to enforce the policy?

Evaluate Your Policy

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How can we ensure the policy is implemented as it was designed?

How do we know the policy is effective?

How do we ensure the policy is sustainable?

Other Key Considerations and Concerns

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Tobacco is how my clients cope with stress and other challenges. How can we remove this coping mechanism?

How do we deal with clients and staff who are resistant to the new policy?

People will adjust their behaviors and just move outside the boundary to use tobacco. How do we manage this after policy implementation? What about our neighbors?

Do clients and staff have a right to smoke?

Our facility is a residential treatment facility. Do people have a right to smoke in their own home?

What are common challenges and barriers to implementing a tobacco free policy? How do we address them?

Additional Resources

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Have other substance use treatment facilities in Wisconsin implemented a tobacco free policy?

Where can I find additional training opportunities?

I have a question that is not listed here. Who should I contact for more information and for help?

References