24/7 Model Tobacco-Free School Policy
Looking for a model tobacco-free school policy?
We have you covered.
The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth has set forth a Comprehensive Policy Standard. Click here to download a checklist that outlines the criteria for a comprehensive school division tobacco policy.
Note: Items in italics are recommended but not required
for meeting the comprehensive standard.
Click here for a checklist outlining the criteria for a comprehensive school division policy
MODEL TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOLS POLICY
The _______ City/County School Board recognizes the use of tobacco products is a health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, visitors, and school facilities. The Board believes that the use of tobacco products on school grounds, in school buildings and facilities, on school property or at school-sponsored events is detrimental to the health and safety of students, staff and visitors.
The Board acknowledges that adult employees and visitors serve as role models for students. The Board recognizes it has an obligation to promote positive role models in schools and to promote a healthy learning and working environment, free from unwanted smoke and tobacco use, for students, employees, and visitors on the school campus.
DEFINITION OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND TOBACCO USE
For the purposes of this policy, “tobacco product” is defined to include cigarettes, cigars, blunts, bidis, chewing tobacco, snuff, electronic smoking devices, and any other products containing nicotine, as well as any component or accessory used in the consumption of a tobacco product, such as filters, rolling papers, pipes, and liquids used in electronic smoking devices, whether or not they contain nicotine. “Tobacco use” includes smoking, chewing, dipping, electronic smoking device use, or any other use of tobacco products.
TOBACCO USE PROHIBITED
No persons are permitted to use or distribute any tobacco product at any time, including non-school hours (24/7), in school property, on school premises, and at school-sponsored activities away from school grounds including:
- in any building, structure, or vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by the division, both on- and off-site
- in any property surrounding buildings and structures, athletic grounds, parking lots, or any other outdoor property owned, leased, or contracted by the division, both on- and off-site
In addition, no student shall be permitted to possess a tobacco product under the circumstances described above – including while in school property, on school premises, at school-sponsored activities away from school grounds, or at any other time that students are under the authority of school personnel.
The administration will develop a communication plan about the policy and enforcement procedures, including information in student and employee handbooks and announcements at school-sponsored or school-related events. Appropriate signage will be posted in buildings and on school property in a manner and location that adequately informs students, staff, and visitors of the policy, including at entrances to school buildings and athletic events.
ENFORCEMENT FOR STUDENTS
Progressive disciplinary action will be used, beginning with supportive options to promote positive student outcomes such as tobacco education or referral to counseling, parent conferences and school or community service. Disciplinary penalties for students may include, but are not limited to, suspension of the student from school or a recommendation for expulsion when there is evidence of repeated and continuous violation of this policy. Referrals to resources to help students overcome tobacco addictions shall be provided to those who are found to be in violation of this policy.
ENFORCEMENT FOR STAFF & VISITORS
Consequences for employees who violate the tobacco policy will be in accordance with personnel policies. Referrals to resources to help staff overcome tobacco addictions shall be provided to those who are found to be in violation of this policy.
Visitors using tobacco products will be asked to refrain or leave the premises. Law enforcement officers may be contacted to escort the person off the premises or cite the person for trespassing, if the person refuses to leave. Forfeiture of any fee charged for admission will be enforced for visitors violating this policy.
All Division employees are expected to cooperate in the enforcement of this policy. Student and staff violations shall be reported to administrative personnel.
No school employee who in good faith reports any known or suspected use, possession or distribution of tobacco shall be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such report or efforts to enforce this policy.
The Superintendent will establish procedures for employees to receive training in the provisions and enforcement of this policy, existing and emerging tobacco products, trends in youth tobacco use, prevention education, and cessation support on an annual basis.
TOBACCO PREVENTION EDUCATION
The administration may consult with appropriate health organizations to identify and provide programs or opportunities for students to gain a greater understanding of the health hazards of tobacco use and the impact of tobacco use as it relates to providing a safe, orderly, clean and inviting school environment.
TRACKING AND EVALUATION
The division will monitor enforcement of the policy and the impact on student tobacco use by tracking student violations and utilizing data to plan appropriate prevention and enforcement efforts. A review of division-wide policy compliance will be conducted annually.
Lawful possession or use of a tobacco-cessation product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration shall be permitted by staff as well as permitted by students following division policies for student self-administration of medications.
Tobacco products may be included for demonstration purposes in instructional or research activities as a necessary component of tobacco prevention or cessation programming as long as it does not include smoking, chewing, inhaling, or otherwise ingesting the tobacco product and is:
- Approved by the school
- Conducted by the faculty member overseeing the instruction or research project