Tobacco Free Living
Underage tobacco use is a major public health crisis in Maine: One in five Maine high school students uses tobacco products, and many start as young as 12 or 13. Over 2,000 Maine kids under 18 become daily smokers every year and almost 30,000 of them will die prematurely from their tobacco addiction. Retail store owners have a critical role to play in reducing youth tobacco use. NO BUTS! is designed to assist in adopting policies and practices that will effectively block sales. Also, a NO BUTS! employer can obtain compliance credits toward future violations. In order to be a NO BUTS! employer, the store must have a written tobacco policy, implement training components for all employees, and display NO BUTS! materials in the store. Additional recommendations for good practice include implementing hiring policies, self-monitoring, using support tools, and limiting advertising.
Enforcement of tobacco sales is a vital component in combating underage tobacco use. The NO BUTS! (Blocking Underage Tobacco Sales) program was created jointly by the Maine State Attorney General’s Office and PTM in an effort to remind employers, managers and employees that, along with stiff fines and penalties for selling tobacco to underage consumers, there is a compelling public health incentive for blocking tobacco sales to minors. No BUTS! enhances Maine’s efforts to enforce tobacco sales laws in two ways: by giving retailers the tools they need to avoid selling tobacco to minors, and rewarding the overwhelming majority of Maine retailers who are already doing a good job.
As a tenant (a tenant is a renter), you have the right to live free of secondhand smoke.
Facts you should know:
• Secondhand smoke is a significant cause of illness in the home and a major cause of preventable death in the United States.
• Non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities such as asthma or allergies have legal protection under federal and state law.
• The right to smoke is NOT protected under law, according to an opinion written by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
• A smoke-free policy is NOT discriminatory.
As long as the policy is not used to target a protected class or minority, a building manager or owner is legally free to restrict or prohibit smoking.
For Landlords: As a landlord, you can play a role in eliminating a significant cause of illness in the home and a major cause of preventable death in the United States: secondhand smoke. There is so much false information available to landlords about smoke-free policies, that you may find it difficult to make an informed decision. Contact Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine or Healthy Acadia for information and resources.