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How to Intervene If UCM Tobacco Policy is Being Violated


Ensuring our campus remains tobacco-free and healthy for all individuals is a community effort. If you observe an individual using tobacco products you may feel a responsibility to intervene yourself or ask someone else for help addressing the policy violation. A printable version of this information is available for faculty and staff training.


When intervening yourself, remember to:

  1. Keep your voice tone neutral or positive.
  2. Avoid using harsh or accusatory language.
  3. Assume the individual is simply not aware of the Tobacco Policy.
  4. Introduce yourself as a UCM employee and have a short conversation with the individual to build rapport.
  5. If possible, provide the individual with a card explaining the Tobacco Policy and where they can smoke. You may print these cards or pick some up at the Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention in Administration 102.
  6. Ask the individual for their ideas about how to make this policy better known and let them know you will share their ideas with the Tobacco Policy Committee.


Intervening Scenarios


Scenario 1: You are walking on campus during your lunch break and notice an individual using tobacco on campus. Since you have time to stop and speak with the individual, you do so.

  • (Smiling) “Hi! I’m (Name) and I work in (department). What’s your name? (Shake their hand). You’re a student here? What are you studying? (Listen and chat.) I stopped because I just wanted to let you know we are a tobacco free campus. You can walk right over there (point to nearest external sidewalk) and be in compliance with the policy. Can I walk with you and get your opinion on something?

  • If they say yes: “We’re trying to figure out a better way to help people know about the tobacco-free policy. Do you have ideas for how we could do that? (Listen to their answers and thank them for their ideas.) I’ll share those with the Tobacco Policy Committee.”

  • At the end of the conversation: “Here is a card with a little more information about the policy and some resources. Thanks for talking with me.”


Scenario 2: You have given the same individual multiple warnings about using tobacco on campus and have suggested options for compliance, but they are still violating policy.

  • If the individual is a student: “We’ve talked several times about this. I’m going to need to report the situation because your choices are impacting others’ rights to be in a tobacco-free environment at UCM. Please show me your student ID.” (Write down their name and 700#. If they say they don’t have their ID, ask them for their 700#, and then have them repeat it.)

  • Submit report on Instant Campus Report. “I’ll be sharing this information with Student Experience and Engagement and they’ll be following up with you via email. If you have questions about the process or want more help figuring out how to comply with the policy, this card has information on where to get resources and more information.” (Give them resource card.)

  • If the individual is faculty or staff, report this to supervisor.


Scenario 3: You have intervened with an individual you observed violating the UCM Tobacco Policy. The individual becomes angry and threatens you,

  • Withdraw from the incident immediately and then contact Public Safety from another location, away from the individual. 


Asking for help with policy violations


Scenario 1: You are on your way to a meeting and notice someone smoking near a residence hall.

  • Intervention: Since you don’t have time to stop, you email when you get back to your office to let them know about the situation. You tell them the specific residence hall, time of day, and any descriptive information you can give about the person who you saw violating policy.


Scenario 2: You are in a bad mood and witness someone using tobacco on campus.

  • You do not intervene in the moment because you know you won’t be able to do it in a kind manner. Instead, you go to to report a tobacco hotspot.


Scenario 3: You see your supervisor violating policy and you do not feel comfortable saying anything to that individual.

  • You call your Human Resource Generalist to ask for advice in how to address the situation.



Other Interventions