Your Voice is Important
Get involved in your community’s schools. If you’re a parent, join the parent-teacher association (PTA), talk to school officials and reach out to your county’s school board. Be sure to talk to other parents and to teachers to get their support. Remember, there is strength in numbers.
Invite local tobacco prevention advocates to present at an upcoming PTA meeting. You can also attend the next Tobacco Free Partnership meeting in your community. Below, click Get Involved Now for the contact information of the resources in your community.
Help Create Tobacco Free Schools in Florida
Lend your support to your local community’s tobacco prevention and control efforts.
Advocacy in Action
In June 2011, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law amending the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act to give school boards the authority to designate all district property as tobacco-free. Since then, an increasing number of school boards throughout Florida have gone 100 percent tobacco free indoors and out.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines comprehensive school-based programs in its “Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction.” These are the 12 components associated with a comprehensive tobacco free school policy:
- Policy includes a statement of rationale for the policy and definitions of tobacco and tobacco use
- Tobacco is specifically named; not implied by prohibiting drugs
- All components of the policy are effective 24 hours a day; 365 days per year
- All school buildings, grounds, campuses, housing, property (including vehicles and buses) whether owned or leased are tobacco free at all times
- Students are prohibited from possessing and/or using tobacco products on school grounds, at school events, whether on or off district property
- School staff prohibited from using tobacco products on school grounds, at school events, whether on or off district property
- Visitors are prohibited from using tobacco products on school grounds, at school events, whether on or off district property
- Wearing clothing or using other items that advertise or promote tobacco products is prohibited
- Tobacco advertising and acceptance of gifts, including curriculum, from tobacco companies is prohibited
- A plan to communicate the policy to all students, employees and visitors is outlined
- An enforcement plan for students, staff and visitors is outlined
- An enforcement plan for students and staff that provides cessation resources is outlined