Dear Green Mountain Campus Community:

I am pleased to announce that Green Mountain College will be immediately taking another major step in providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of our community. On August 17th, 2009, smoking will only be permitted in designated areas on all College owned or leased property. This includes Killington Lodge and High Ridge and the Deane Preserve.

Our primary desire is to protect all who live, work, study or visit the campus from a major health concern: secondhand smoke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing agents and is responsible each year for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths and more than 35,000 coronary heart disease deaths among nonsmokers in the United States. Secondhand smoke may be even more harmful than mainstream smoke because it is formed at lower temperatures, thereby giving off even larger amounts of some cancer-causing substances.

Our decision not to prohibit smoking entirely is both pragmatic and principled. Denying those who smoke any outlet will likely prove counterproductive and prompt both resentment and violation of the policy. As importantly, mutual respect for our fellow community members leads us to a solution that addresses the concerns of both smokers and nonsmokers. This solution and the language we have used to articulate it is very similar to policies adopted by many other colleges and universities across the United States (e.g. Warren Wilson, San Francisco State University, and Carleton College).

On the Poultney campus, we have designated 3 locations as “smoking-permitted areas,” with all other areas considered non-smoking. Smoking will no longer be permitted near buildings or walking across the campus or on the college land along the Poultney River. At these locations we will erect temporary shelters. If the sites prove to be located in areas that smokers find convenient, we will replace the temporary shelters with more permanent structures; if not, we will move the temporary shelters to other locations to determine where the most ideal locations are. These sites are located: 1) near the parking lot between Richardson Hall and Dunton Hall; 2) south of the Maintenance Building, and between Moses Hall and North Hall. At Killington, the parking areas for the Killington Lodge and High Ridge will serve as designated smoking areas.

During the fall 2009 semester, our mutual goal is to make sure that all GMC community members are aware of this new policy. If you see someone smoking in a nonsmoking area, politely approach that person and inform them of the new policy and ask them to move to a nearby smoking area. For example: “There is a new smoking policy in effect, and this is not a smoking area. Could you please move to the smoking area located [indicate the nearest area]. Be sure to thank that person for doing so if that individual follows your advice. If they refuse to comply, request support from Public Safety or report that individual to the Student Life Office or to their supervisor. Please keep in mind that all members of our community must cooperate with reasonable requests regarding policy.

In closing, I ask for your cooperation to this effort –an effort that will benefit all of us.

Paul Fonteyn