Policies promoted by the 100% Tobacco-Free Schools initiative include prohibitions on any type of tobacco use by anyone on any school property or at any school function (on or off campus) 24 hours per day, seven days per week, every week of the year. These policies are evidence-based approaches to improve community health and reduce youth tobacco use.
The main modes of action of these policies include the important health goals of reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and encouraging tobacco users to consume less of the addictive product.
The more significant long-term effect of these policies, however, is to reduce youth tobacco use by reducing student exposure to tobacco use as an acceptable behavior by role models important to their development.
For additional information about tobacco-free schools, visit the TobaccoFree Schools website.
Early education is one of the most effective ways to keep children safe from the effects of tobacco use. Schools play an important role in preventing youth tobacco use.
Not only should our children's schools be smoke-free to protect the immediate health of students, teachers, staff and guests, but also, anyone working in that environment must help provide a consistent message of no tobacco use. Schools that are not tobacco free send conflicting messages to students about tobacco use.
Values and Benefits of a Tobacco-Free School
- Provides positive role modeling by adult employees and visitors
- Reduces children's observation of tobacco use and takes a firm stand against it.
- Supports prevention messages delivered in classrooms.
- Provides safe environments for students by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Complies with federal legislation prohibiting smoking in school buildings.
The Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program has developed guidelines for working with school systems to investigate tobacco-free policies and their enforcement, educating students about the health risks of tobacco use and the schools' role in helping students who want to quit.
Please download and distribute the Tobacco-Free Schools survey/planning quide.
The Tobacco-Free Pledge allows teens and youth to make the pledge to remain tobacco free for life. This downloadable form can be used at health or school fairs to draw attention to the need for teens to remain tobacco free. The Tobacco Free Pledge is also available en español.