Tobacco-Free Schools

Tobacco-Free Schools

Set the right example with a 100 percent Tobacco-Free School Policy

Tobacco-free schools promote healthy lifestyles and provide positive role-modeling for children. You can encourage your school district to adopt and enforce tobacco-free policies that prohibit tobacco use at all times (24/7) on all school property by students, teachers, spectators, and visitors.

A 100 percent tobacco-free school policy prohibits all tobacco use by everyone including staff, faculty, visitors and students on school grounds, and at all school events, at all times. Smoking on school property is unhealthy and it sends the wrong message to children. You can encourage your schools to adopt and enforce smoke-free policies that prohibit tobacco use on all school property by students, teachers, spectators, and visitors.

Contact your school board members to express your concern and ask them to take action to protect children from exposure to secondhand smoke and set a healthy example for students to follow.

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Why Go Tobacco-Free?

  • Health-risk behaviors such as tobacco use are consistently linked to academic failure.
  • Provides positive role modeling.
  • Reduces youth observation of tobacco use.
  • Supports prevention messages taught in school.
  • Provides a safe, healthy, tobacco-free environment
  • Protects students from developing an addiction to a dangerous drug.
  • Complies with state and federal laws that prohibit smoking inside school buildings.
  • Reduces campus litter and risk of fires.
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 Licking County's Tobacco-Free Schools

Some of our local school districts have already implemented a 100 percent tobacco-free policy!

  • Newark City
  • Licking Valley
  • Lakewood
  • Granville

If you notice that these policies are being violated, please contact a school administrative official.


Ohio State Board of Education Supports Tobacco-Free Schools

Tobacco prevention efforts in Ohio achieved an important milestone in 2011 when the Ohio State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a resolution endorsing the 100 percent tobacco-free schools model policy developed through the Board’s Capacity Committee.

The 15 to 0 vote in favor of the 100 percent tobacco-free schools model policy occurred on July 12, 2011 and capped a year-long effort begun by the Delaware General Health District and its Tobacco-Free Delaware County Coalition and supported by the Ohio Department of Health, the American Heart Association and others to further tobacco-use prevention efforts in Ohio’s schools.

While not a mandatory policy, the resolution accompanied by the suggested model policy, will be shared by the Ohio Department of Education with school superintendents and others across Ohio with a recommendation for adoption. Read the resolution here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 100% Tobacco-Free School (TFS) district? A school district that has adopted a 100% TFS policy prohibits tobacco use by anyone, anywhere on school grounds at anytime. The policy applies to students, staff, visitors and all others. This policy also extends to any school-sponsored event held off campus. 

Why do we need 100% TFS?  A 100% TFS policy protects children's health and ensures that students encounter positive role models at school. Data presented from the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) show a negative association between tobacco use and academic achievement. This means students with higher grades are less likely to engage in tobacco use behaviors than their classmates with lower grades.  Students who do not use tobacco receive higher grades than their classmates who do use tobacco. 

Can this policy be adopted at the school district level?  Yes. 

Will we risk losing our supporters at athletic events/school functions?  No. There is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, some of the school districts report just the opposite effect, gaining more attendees who are encouraged by tobacco-free environments. According to administrators in school districts that have adopted a 100% TFS policy, the vast majority of adults have willingly complied with the policy during athletic events. They recognize that school policies prohibiting tobacco use and alcohol use on campus protect youth safety and offer a positive environment for students and families. 

What about the argument that it’s legal for adults to use tobacco?  Schools have the authority to develop, adopt and implement policies that are in the best interest of the students and staff. For example, while it’s legal for adults to use other age-restricted products such as alcohol, allowing adults to drink on campus is not in the best interest of students. Therefore, such products are banned on school campuses. Tobacco is no different – it is a legal product for adults to purchase and use, but not on 100% TFS school campuses and not at school events. 

Who should I contact if I have more questions on 100% TFS policies? Nicole Stowers, Health Educator (740) 349-1663 or

Links and Resources

Model Tobacco-Free Schools Ordinance
Tobacco-Free School Signage Request
Ohio Tobacco Quit Line 1-800-QUIT-NOW (or 1-800-784-8669) Free telephone counseling for uninsured Ohioans, Medicaid recipients, pregnant women and members of the Ohio Tobacco Collaborative. Nicotine replacement therapy available for eligible patients. is a free, interactive website that shows smokers how to re-learn life without cigarettes.
Ohio Quitlogix Free 24/7 online help for all Ohioans
Licking Memorial Hospital “Quit for Your Health” program 220-564-7848 Free in-person counseling for all Licking County residents. Nicotine replacement therapy available. is a free, interactive website that shows smokers how to re-learn life without cigarettes.

Funding is provided to the Licking County Health Department by the Ohio Department of Health, Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program, which is supported by Cooperative Agreement number 5U58DP001983-05 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of either the Ohio Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.