24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools
State law requires that schools be tobacco free during the school day, but adopting a 24/7 tobacco-free policy further protects students from secondhand smoke at school-sponsored activities and reduces litter cleanup costs associated with tobacco waste. A 24/7 tobacco-free environmental policy completely prohibits the use of tobacco in any form, by anyone, at any place, any time (including non-school hours) while on school grounds and during any school sponsored functions held off campus.
If your school is interested in adopting a 24-hour tobacco-free policy, download the Guide to a 24/7 Tobacco-Free School Environment, which can help you through the process. You may also view the Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers position statement on 24/7 schools. Contact Laura Matlock at LauraM@health.ok.gov when your school district adopts a 24/7 tobacco-free policy to be added to the list below.
The following schools are among a growing number that have adopted 24-hour tobacco-free policies (24/7) consistent with the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction:
24/7 Public School Districts
Charter Schools & Private Schools
A Dozen Good 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.
- Schools must prohibit drug use in school buildings, on school grounds and at school-sponsored events. Tobacco is a drug.
- Schools must be in the business of promoting health rather than enabling addictions. Tobacco is addictive.
- Schools are responsible for providing a safe environment for students. Smoking materials and secondhand smoke are dangerous.
- Schools can help "delay the onset" of smoking and significantly reduce the chances that youth will ever use tobacco regularly. Middle and high school years are critical in determining whether or not an individual becomes a smoker for life.
- Schools must consider the other "side effects" of tobacco use. Tobacco is a gateway drug.
- Schools must send clear consistent non-use messages. Allowing tobacco use at school is in conflict with prevention messages delivered in classrooms.
- Schools can reduce children's observation of tobacco use and take a firm stand against it. Perceived social acceptance of tobacco use, accurate or otherwise, influences adolescent tobacco use behavior.
- Schools need to prepare students for the reality of smoke free workplaces and communities. Workplaces and communities are becoming increasingly smoke free.
- It is important that schools model respect for state laws and community ordinances. Laws intentionally limit access and possession of tobacco by children.
- School districts would be wise to protect themselves from liability risk. Schools may face liability issues by allowing smoking on their premises.
- It's the right thing to do. Period
No Tobacco Use Signs
If you are interested in obtaining the "No Tobacco Use" signs used by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the contact and order information is:
4545 N. Lincoln Blvd, Suite 103
Oklahoma City, OK 73105