24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools
The new state law, also known as, the 24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools Act is effective Aug. 20th, 2015. It requires that schools be tobacco free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This law prohibits the use of tobacco in any form, by anyone, at any place, and at any time while on school grounds and during any school sponsored functions held off campus, including school vehicles and school-sponsored activities. The full text of the law is available online.
Although 24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools is a state-law, it is important for schools to assess and modify school policy accordingly to ensure it includes all details as stated in the law. While going through the process to update policy, you may also want to clearly define terminology, add additional language around enforcement guidelines, and restrictions around e-cigarette and vapor products.
Reasons for Tobacco-Free School Environments
- Schools are responsible for protecting children in their charge from dangerous products. Tobacco is a product that disables and kills.
- In addition to the health consequences, research shows that tobacco use affects academic performance.
- Tobacco contains the addictive drug nicotine. Schools must prohibit drug use in school buildings, on school grounds and at school-sponsored events.
- Tobacco use is addictive. Schools must promote healthy lifestyles rather than enabling addictions.
- Middle and high school years are critical in determining whether or not an individual becomes a smoker for life. Schools can help "delay the onset" of smoking and significantly reduce the chances that youth will ever use tobacco regularly. Perceived social acceptance of tobacco use, accurate or otherwise, influences adolescent tobacco use behavior.
- Tobacco is a gateway drug and schools must consider the other "side effects" of tobacco use.
- Workplaces and communities are becoming increasingly smoke free and schools need to prepare students for the reality of smoke free workplaces and communities.
- It is important that schools model respect for state laws and community ordinances. Laws intentionally limit access and possession of tobacco by children.
- It's the right thing to do.
No Tobacco Use Signs
If you are interested in obtaining the "No Tobacco Use" signs used by the Oklahoma State Department of Health please submit the order form with the school policy to the firstname.lastname@example.org. Metal signs are available to schools that have not previously received them while supplies last at no cost. Schools may also purchase additional signs from the Oklahoma Correction Industries.
Purchasing Information Contact:
Oklahoma Correctional Industries Sales Office
4545 N. Lincoln Blvd, Suite 103
Oklahoma City, OK 73105