Model Tobacco-free Policy Recommendations
"Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)" means any device that can be used to deliver nicotine or nicotine salts to the person inhaling from the device. Such definition shall include, but may not be limited to, any electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, or personal vaporizer.
"Tobacco-free" refers to a building or campus that is free of all tobacco products (as defined above) and ENDS (as defined above).
“Tobacco product” also means any component or accessory used in the consumption of a tobacco product, such as filters, rolling papers, pipes, and substances used in electronic cigarettes, whether or not they contain nicotine.
“Tobacco product” means any product that is made from or derived from tobacco, or that contains nicotine, that is intended for human consumption or is likely to be consumed, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled or ingested by any other means, including, but not limited to, a cigarette, a cigar, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, or snus.
Prevention Education Policies
Tobacco Free Missouri recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of prevention education to 3rd-12th graders annually. One-third (at least 10 minutes) of the training should include information about electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Such education should provide opportunities for students to gain a greater understanding of the health hazards of tobacco use and the impact of tobacco as it relates to providing a safe, orderly, clean and inviting school environment. The school district should not use programs sponsored by a tobacco company. Several free evidence-based programs are available here.
Option 1: Tobacco use prevention will be incorporated into the student curriculum. All 3rd-12th graders shall receive at least 30 minutes of tobacco use prevention education annually. One-third of the training shall include information over electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
Option 2: All students must participate in annual tobacco use prevention education starting in the third grade and continuing until twelfth grade. The annual training must be 30 minutes with 10 minutes including information over electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
Possession and Usage Policies
Youth possession, use, or purchase (PUP) laws are laws that penalize youth for the possession, use, or purchase of tobacco products. PUP laws are not an effective approach to reducing tobacco use among youth and inappropriately shift the blame for underage tobacco use from the tobacco industry and retailers, to children. Many youth smokers are addicted, making it difficult for them to quit, and some research suggests that penalizing youth through PUP laws could deter them from seeking support for cessation. Promoting interventions that provide education and cessation resources for youth could be a more beneficial alternative. We have compiled a list of free, evidence-based resources that might be beneficial.
It is the recommendation of Tobacco Free Missouri that all schools shall have a policy prohibiting the use and possession of tobacco products including ENDS by students, with enforcement focusing on education and cessation. If a student is caught violating the tobacco policy, Tobacco Free Missouri does not recommend In-School or Out of School Suspension. Instead, TFM would recommend:
- First Offense: Detention which includes 30 minutes of prevention education.
- Second Offense: Mandatory completion of a 4-hour prevention program in lieu of in-school suspension. No in-school suspension shall be recorded in the student’s discipline record as long as the program is completed. Program may be completed in or out of school.
- Third Offense: Indicated intervention or cessation treatment.
Option 1: It shall be a violation of the policy for any student to possess or use tobacco in any form, including (ENDS) on any district property, in any district-owned vehicle or in any other district-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school activities, and at any district-sponsored or district-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the supervision of the school district.
Option 2: Possession or use of tobacco products, including the form of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by any student is strictly prohibited on school property (including in restrooms and locker rooms) and at school sponsored events. Any student in violation of this policy should refer to consequences listed in the possession/usage policy.
Option 3: Smoking and the use or possession of a tobacco product in any form, including the form of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), by students is prohibited when it occurs on school district property, in any school-owned vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; or off school district property at any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the school district.
Many current school policies only forbid the distribution of drugs and alcohol on school grounds. Tobacco Free Missouri recommends adding tobacco products, including ENDS, to the current distribution policy. Many students are exposed to tobacco through ENDS used by their friends. Adding ENDS to the distribution policy will reduce the number of students who may adopt this bad habit through access to the devices from their peers. Due to lung-related illnesses and deaths associated with the use of e-cigarettes, Tobacco Free Missouri also recommends that the distribution of ENDS be treated as strictly as the distribution of alcohol and drugs, with the same or similar discipline procedures.
Option 1: Any student or staff who distributes, sells, or transfers tobacco in any form, including the form of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), to any other student or staff on district property or at school sponsored events, will be in violation of the policy and subject to disciplinary action.
Option 2: The distribution of tobacco products, including the form of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), by any student, staff, or visitor is strictly prohibited on school property (including in restrooms and locker rooms) and at school sponsored events.
Option 3: Any student who distributes, sells, or transfers tobacco products or nicotine delivery devices shall be subject to an administrative investigation.
It is the recommendation of Tobacco Free Missouri that schools include a policy allowing for the permanent confiscation of all tobacco products, including ENDS.
Option 1: Tobacco products or nicotine delivery devices will be confiscated by school staff and may not be returned.
Option 2: Any tobacco product or nicotine delivery device found in the possession of a student shall be confiscated and become the property of the school district.