XENIA — Greene County Public Health’s (GCPH) Tobacco-Free program has announced that all Greene County public schools are 100 percent tobacco-free.
The process began in 2016 and requires that each school update their tobacco policies to be in accordance with Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Tobacco-Free Schools model policy. There are many steps to achieving 100 percent tobacco-free status, including making changes to current policies, obtaining official board approval, and receiving the grade from ODH to determine if they are 100 percent tobacco-free.
These policies not only protect students but also staff and visitors.
With the rise in e-cigarette/vaping use among teens, the need to update current tobacco policies to include vaping use has never been greater, according to a release from GCPH. According to the CDC, almost 24 percent of high school students use tobacco products and of that percentage, almost 20 percent use e-cigarettes. There are many reasons why students vape, but peer influence and the trend of vaping in media are some of the biggest factors in youth vaping, the release said. Updating school tobacco policies is one of the many ways to protect students from the dangers of tobacco use.
GCPH continues to reduce youth tobacco product use by working to implement policies such as second-hand smoke, outdoor space, and point of sale. There are also many different programs and resources available to youth who are considering quitting. One tobacco cessation program available for youth is My Life, My Quit, a free and confidential service for kids under 18 who want help quitting smoking or vaping. Teens will receive non-judgmental support, help, and easy-to-follow tips from a coach. To enroll, text “Start My Quit” to 36072 or enroll online at www.mylifemyquit.com.
GCPH officials commended all Greene County schools for their hard work in passing these policies and their efforts to protect students from the dangers of tobacco-use.
For more on the Tobacco Free program, call Kristianna at 937-374-5655 or email [email protected].