On Wednesday evening, October 19, 2011, the Palm Beach School District Board of Education passed the revised policy on tobacco, making all school campuses and district property tobacco free. This new policy will become effective on January 2, 2012, and will remain in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The School Board recognizes that tobacco products are a health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, parents, and visitors, as well as for school facilities. Using tobacco on school grounds and district property is detrimental to the health and safety of all concerned as tobacco is a significant contributor to medical issues and death.
Tobacco products were defined in the policy as any lighted or unlighted item containing or resembling tobacco or tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), or any oral device that provides a vapor of liquid nicotine or other product and simulates smoking, were also included in the list of banned substances.
The new policy applies to all students, employees, and volunteers, as well as parents, spectators, and visitors to school facilities and district buildings. The tobacco-free policy also covers off-campus, school-sponsored events. Contractors are also not allowed to use tobacco products or e-cigarettes in any building, facility, or vehicle owned, leased or rented by the District.
Exceptions were given for school principals to permit tobacco products to be used for counseling, educational, instruction or research activities in their school building as long as the activity is conducted or supervised by a District employee. The research or activity can not involve smoking, chewing or ingesting the tobacco products in any way.
Congratulations to the The School District of Palm Beach County for making the decision for all school campuses and district property to go tobacco-free.
Click here for additional information on the new tobacco-free policy.