Sample Policy

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School Policy Coordinators are available to work with schools and districts on adopting, modifying, and strengthening Tobacco-Free policies. The sample below is an example of a comprehensive policy.

 

Tobacco-Free School Sample Policy

Student in hall way

Definitions

Tobacco: means any cigarette, cigar, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, and any other smoking product; as well as spit tobacco, also known as smokeless, dip, chew, and snuff, and any other spit tobacco product in any form.

School Property: means any building, structure or vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by the [SCHOOL NAME]

School Grounds: means property surrounding buildings and structures, athletic grounds, parking lots, or any other outdoor property owned, leased, or contracted by the [SCHOOL NAME]

Rationale

The [SCHOOL NAME] recognizes its responsibility to promote the health, welfare and safety of students, staff and others on school property and at school-sponsored activities. Research conclusively proves that:

  • Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States;
  • Regular use of tobacco is ultimately harmful to every user's health, directly causing cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and premature death;
  • Second-hand smoke is a threat to the personal health of everyone, especially persons with asthma and other respiratory problems;
  • Nicotine is a powerfully addictive substance;
  • Tobacco use most often begins during childhood or adolescence;
  • The younger a person starts using tobacco, the more likely he or she will be a heavy user as an adult;
  • Many young tobacco users will die an early, preventable death because of their decision to use tobacco.
  • Use of tobacco interferes with students' attendance and learning;
  • Smoking is a fire safety issue for schools.

Prevention programs in schools are most effective when supplemented by strong tobacco-free policies and when they are a part of broader school, community, and state efforts to reduce youth smoking. In light of this information, and to be consistent with school curriculum and federal and state law, it is the intent of the [SCHOOL NAME] to establish a tobacco-free environment.

Tobacco Use Prohibited

No person is permitted to use tobacco in any way at any time, including non-school hours, on school property, grounds or at any school-sponsored event or activity off campus.

Tobacco Education

Instruction to discourage the misuse of tobacco shall be included in the health education provided for all elementary school pupils taught by the classroom teacher or by teachers certified to teach health education.

Instruction shall also be an integral part of a required health education at the junior and senior high levels and taught by teachers certified to teach health education. Related courses in secondary school curriculum shall be taught in a manner supportive of health education regarding tobacco. Staff responsible for teaching tobacco-use prevention shall have adequate training and participate in ongoing professional development activities to effectively deliver the education program as planned.

Tobacco Possession

TOBACCO POSSESSION No student is permitted to possess tobacco on school property, grounds, or at school-sponsored event or activity off campus.

Tobacco Distribution

Distribution or sale of tobacco, including any smoking device is prohibited on school property, grounds, and at any school-sponsored event or activity off campus.

Tobacco Promotion

Tobacco advertising is prohibited on school property, grounds, at any school-sponsored event or activity off campus, and in all school-sponsored publications. The school will request tobacco-free editions of all publications in school libraries. Students are prohibited from wearing or having in their possession tobacco promotional items, including clothing, bags, lighters, and other personal articles on school property, grounds, or at any school-sponsored event or activity off campus. School acceptance of gifts, funding, or parent/classroom educational materials from the tobacco industry is prohibited.

Tobacco Cessation

Referrals and access to community resources and programs to help students and staff overcome tobacco addiction shall be provided to staff and students. School counselors, health services, or community agencies are encouraged to establish voluntary tobacco-use cessation programs at school.

Notice

Signs communicating this policy shall be prominently posted and properly maintained where tobacco use and smoking are regulated by this policy, including all building entrances, grounds, and vehicles. Signs shall include "No Smoking" or the international "No Smoking" symbol, which consists of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle with a bar across it.

The [SCHOOL NAME] shall also notify students, parents/guardians, staff, contractors and other school visitors annually of the tobacco-free policy in written materials including, but not limited, to handbooks, manuals, contracts, newspapers, and newsletters.

Enforcement

Enforcement of this policy shall be equitable and consistent, in accordance with the Tobacco-Free School Policy Enforcement Procedures, student behavior code, and employee personnel policies.

Student violations of this policy will lead to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from school. Student participation in a tobacco cessation program and/or tobacco education class may be allowed as an alternative to discipline. Parents will be notified of violations involving their child and subsequent action taken by the school.

Employee violations of this policy will lead to disciplinary action in accordance with personnel policies and may include verbal warning and/or written reprimand.

Violations by others will result in appropriate sanctions as determined and imposed by the Superintendent or Board.

Administrative Rules

The superintendent will develop administrative regulations as necessary to implement this policy, including provisions for notification of the school’s policy; disciplinary consequences; and procedures for filing and handling complaints about violations of the school’s policy.

The superintendent shall ensure that the school’s tobacco-use prevention program, policies, curricula, training and cessation programs are evaluated at regular intervals. The input of students, staff, parents and others from the community will be encouraged.

This policy shall be in force at all times.

    Legal References:
  • NYS Education Law, Article 9, Section 409. School building regulations in relation to health and safety.
  • NYS Education Law, Article 17, Section 804. Health education regarding alcohol, drugs, tobacco abuse and the prevention and detection of certain cancers.
  • NYS Department of Education, Commissioner’s Regulations, Subchapter G, Part 135. Health, Physical Education and Recreation
  • NYS Public Health Law, Article 13-E, Section 1399. Regulation of smoking in certain public areas (Clean Indoor Air Act)
  • U.S. Department of Education—No Child Left Behind, Title IV C, Sections 4301 – 4304, Part A. Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities