SMOKING AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS Policy Code: 5026/7250
The board of education promotes the health and safety of all students and staff and the cleanliness of all 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-related or school-sponsored events is detrimental to the health and safety of students, staff and school visitors. The school curriculum teaches the harmful effects caused by smoking and tobacco use. Medical evidence clearly shows that smoking and tobacco use pose a significant risk to the health of the user. Furthermore, research indicates that exposure to secondary smoke may seriously threaten the health of smokers and non-smokers alike. In addition, the refuse caused by tobacco use adds to school maintenance costs and creates potential fire hazards and damage to property.
The use of tobacco interferes with student’s attendance and learning. It causes or contributes to asthma, ear infections, and upper respiratory infections- primary reasons for school absence. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke has also been linked to decreases in reading and math scores and language and reasoning deficits in children and youth.
The Board acknowledges that adults serve as role models for students. The Board therefore recognizes that it has an obligation to promote a healthy learning and work environment for the students and staff of the school system free from tobacco and related products.
PROHIBITIONS ON USE OF TOBACCO
The Board chooses to reinforce a clear and consistent message that strengthens the teaching of the harmful effects of tobacco use and provides a model of wholesome life habits, as well as a healthy working environment for all. To this end, the board adopts this 100 percent tobacco free policy and prohibits or restricts smoking and the use of tobacco products as follows. For the purposes of this policy, the term “tobacco product” includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipes, bid is, smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco, nicotine, nicotine-delivering devices and chemicals or devices that produce the same flavor or physical effect of nicotine substances or emit nicotine vapor. The “use of tobacco products” includes smoking, dipping, chewing, inhaling and any other tobacco or nicotine innovation. Nothing in this policy prohibits the legitimate use of nicotine replacement therapy. Staff undergoing nicotine replacement therapy at school must provide written verification from a health care provider to that effect. Electronic cigarettes or other devices that resemble tobacco products or emit nicotine vapor are prohibited in all circumstances.
- All persons, including school district personnel, volunteers, contractors, other persons performing services or activities on behalf of the school district, students and visitors, are prohibited from using any tobacco products at any time (1) in any school building, in any school facility, in any school vehicle, on school grounds or on any property, owned, leased, borrowed or otherwise used by the school district or (2) at any school-sponsored or school-related activity, including athletic events, on or off school grounds, except for the use of tobacco products for instructional or research purposes as provided below.
- In addition, school district employees, school volunteers, contractors or other persons performing services on behalf of the school district also are prohibited from using tobacco products at any other time while on duty and in the presence of students, either on or off school grounds.
- Employees found to be smoking, or using other tobacco products or exposing students to such products are subject to sanctions including a verbal warning, written reprimand, suspension or dismissal. Supervisors and principals are encouraged to also refer the employee to an appropriate tobacco cessation program.
- Non-employees found using tobacco products in violation of this policy will be asked to stop such activity. If the use of tobacco continues, the person will be asked to leave school property. As a last resort, law enforcement officials will be called.
- Nothing in this policy prohibits the use of tobacco products for an instructional or research activity conducted in a school building, provided such activity is conducted or supervised by a faculty member and the activity does not include smoking, chewing or otherwise ingesting tobacco.
- The administration will consult with the county health department and/or other appropriate organizations to provide employees with information and access to support systems and programs to encourage employees to abstain from the use of tobacco products. The school district may, from time to time, provide free non-smoking programs and services to be offered to employees in the schools, after the regular school day.
- Employees will be provided notice of this policy through personnel handbooks or other means identified by the administration. In addition, the administration will post signs in a manner and location that adequately notify staff, students and visitors about the 100 percent tobacco-free policy.
- All personnel are required to adhere to and enforce this policy and other policies, rules or regulations addressing the use of tobacco products.
Legal References: 20 U.S.C. 6081 - 6084; Pro-Children Act of 1994; G.S. 14-313; 115C-47(18), -407; 143-597 to -601
Cross References: Code of Student Conduct (policy 4303)
Adopted: February 7, 2000, Revised: May 5, 2003, June 27, 2013