Pike County School Board Considering Tobacco-Free Policy

In Local News on April 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

The Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition would like to thank the Pike County School Board for writing and considering a comprehensive tobacco-free grounds policy. This policy clarifies that tobacco of any kind will not be used by anyone at any time on any school property, refers students who use tobacco into an effective intervention program, and provides cessation support for corporation employees who do use tobacco. The board heard a first reading of this policy at their meeting April 12.

The tobacco prevention coalition has offered to fund the student intervention program, called Tobacco Education Group, and to purchase tobacco-free grounds signage for the school corporation.

We feel this tobacco-free policy sets a good example for students and reinforces what health teachers are teaching in the classrooms. As we all know, actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to teens, and now is the time to take action.

Ninety percent of all adult smokers started in their teens, and roughly 30 percent of all teen smokers will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases. Also, we know that if teens don’t start using tobacco before they turn 18, chances are high that they will never start. Therefore, it is imperative for us to do everything we can to keep kids from starting now, while they are in school.

The Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition has already collected more than 100 signatures on petitions in favor of this comprehensive tobacco-free grounds policy, and 82 other counties around the state already have tobacco-free school grounds, so there is strong support in our community and around the state for this policy. If you agree that Pike County schools need a comprehensive tobacco-free policy, we urge you to contact your school board members to express your support.


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