Don't miss your chance to be recognized at the
2020 Higher Education & Behavioral Health
Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program. Apply today!
MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence (CTI) is excited to release the applications for the 2020 Higher Education and Behavioral Health Gold Star Standards of Excellence (GSSE) programs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have shifted our timeline as well as our annual event. This year, we hope to have an awards recognition in the Fall and will continue to plan with considerations recommended by the Maine CDC as it pertains to social distancing.

MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence's annual Tobacco Treatment and Prevention conference will be held virtually with no fees this year. Please see details below and check back on for continued updates on additional speakers, dates, and times.

Acknowledging your efforts in creating tobacco-free environments and having your voice/sector represented through our program is important to our collective work in promoting safe and healthy environments in Maine. We hope you will participate in the 2020 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program.

BreatheEasy is offering mini-grants to support your efforts to grow or maintain tobacco free environments and tobacco free lifestyles of your staff, students and clients. If you'd like to be connected to your District Tobacco Prevention Partner (DTPP) for assistance on the application process, email  Tobacco Prevention Services .

* If you've already submitted your application, you can still apply for a mini-grant!

Purpose : To support behavioral health & higher education entities in developing and implementing a comprehensive tobacco policy, as well as increasing staff capacity to address tobacco use. Examples of how these grants can be used include staff time, customized signage, professional education, and supplies.

2020 GSSE Program Dates

Application Release: Monday May 18, 2020
Application guidance documents are available on our website .

Applications Due: Friday June 5, 2020
Mini Grant Applications due: Friday, June 5, 2020

Awards Recognition: TBD Fall 2020

The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program encourages and supports Maine’s institutions and organizations that are addressing smoking and tobacco use by creating and maintaining smoke and tobacco-free policies to provide a healthy and safe environment for their students, faculty, staff and visitors.

All Maine Behavioral Health Organizations, Colleges/Universities and Career/Trade Schools are encouraged to apply for recognition. Those that meet a minimum of seven of the ten standards will be recognized with an award.

7-8 Standards = BRONZE AWARD
9 Standards = SILVER AWARD
10 Standards = GOLD AWARD

Visit to find application submission details, how to find local support for application assistance and how to nominate an Individual Gold Star Champion!

*Download the Higher Education Institution GSSE Application HERE*
*Download the Behavioral Health Organization GSSE Application HERE*

* For additional support completing your application, find your local
2020 Annual Tobacco Treatment and Prevention Conference

Virtual Sessions to be held on June 15, 16, and 17, 2020
Our number one priority the health and safety of our staff and the participants of our trainings, in following recommendations from the Maine CDC and MaineHealth, the 2020 Annual Conference sessions will be offered virtually, we hope you will be able to join us – please direct questions to  

The Annual Tobacco Treatment & Prevention Conference brings nationally recognized speakers and local experts together to discuss a wide array of tobacco treatment and prevention topics, new research and innovative approaches to tobacco control. It also provides an opportunity to network with other tobacco treatment professionals from across the state. Attendance at the conference is required for those seeking the National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice.

"A Changing Landscape-Tobacco and Nicotine Use, Products and Adolescents: Reflections and Considerations for Tobacco Prevention and Treatment"
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Barbara Schillo

Dr. Schillo is Vice President of the Schroeder Institute, part of the Truth Initiative, where she provides leadership for research that examines the impact of tobacco-related policies on youth and young adults. Dr. Schillo also currently chairs the board of directors for the North American Quitline Consortium. 

Visit for additional training and conference details .
Please visit our website or email
for more information.

The Breathe Easy Tobacco-Free Hospital Initiative is a program of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence supported by funding from Maine Prevention Services, Maine CDC, DHHS.