Vape-free Schools

Unrecognizable high school students

The Missouri Vape-free Schools Toolkit was created by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department in coordination with Tobacco Free Missouri as a guide to help your schools or school district enhance your current tobacco policies and practices to reflect the growing use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). 

The use of ENDS, also known as vapes, e-cigarettes and JUUL, by middle school and high school students is a major health concern in both Missouri and the United States. This guide contains information and resources, as well as recommendations, to help your school effectively implement, clearly communicate, enforce and support a comprehensive tobacco-free plan that includes prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes. 

Through these recommendations, it is our goal to reduce the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes among youth and ultimately reduce the negative effects of tobacco and e-cigarette use.

Comprehensive Tobacco-free and Vape-free School Policies:

  • Have been proven effective in preventing youth tobacco use.
  • Provide prevention education during the years when he risk of becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine is greatest.
  • Provide a tobacco-free environment that establishes non-use of tobacco as a norm and offers opportunities for positive role modeling.
  • Can help prevent the use of other drugs, especially if the program also addresses the use of these substances.
  • Protect school property and prevent damage from secondhand smoke and cigarette fires.

Roadmap to Success:Roadway

A good smoke and vape-free schools plan involves careful planning. Start with these five steps:

1. Review your school's current tobacco policies and practices. Look at how the tobacco policies within your school are currently written. How are "tobacco products" defined? What role do teachers and employees play in enforcing the policies? How is education addressed?

2. Compare your school's policies and practices with the guidelines from this toolkit. As you are reviewing your school's policies, find differences and similarities between your current policies and practices and this toolkit's recommendations.

3. Advocate to administrators and the school board about the need for a stronger policy. Everyone has an important role to play in the creation of a comprehensive tobacco-free plan. Discussing the plan with administrators and the school board can provide a strong foundation for the creation of the plan and its success.

4. Develop a plan. Work together to create a plan that both follows the guidelines within this toolkit and fits your school's specific needs. A customized plan that is made specifically for your school will make the plan more successful.

5. Implement it! Discuss the new plan with students, staff, employees, administrators and parents. Educate visitors about the plan with signs and event announcements. 

In our toolkit, you will find:

Information about youth e-cigarette use

Model policy recommendations:

  • Sample definitions
  • Tobacco-free campus policies
  • Prevention education policies
  • Possession and usage policies
  • Distribution policies
  • Confiscation policies
  • Teacher and staff trainings
  • Staff violations
  • Physical environment policies

Tools and resources to enhance your plan:

  • Prevention and education resources and materials
  • Resources for youth cessation
  • Available teacher and staff training opportunities
  • Flyers and posters for your physical environment
  • Other physical environment and engineering strategies

Communication tools

  • Communicating the plan to students, staff and parents
  • Sample staff memo
  • Sample parent letter
  • Sample event announcements

Frequently asked questions and how to respond

juul

For more information:

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is happy to provide personalized assistance with the development of your school's smoke-free and vape-free plan. We are also happy to provide in-person teacher and staff training, parent events and more.

For guidance on developing your own smoke-free and vape-free plan, contact Cara Erwin.

For in-person trainings and educational opportunities, contact Ruth Brown