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Smoking on School Grounds


For over 20 years, the Pro-Children Act of 1994 has protected students by prohibiting smoking in federally funded facilities that provide education services to children. How far the protection goes outside of buildings and school hours, is often left up to state and local regulations.

For example, a public school that hosts sporting events in the evening may allow guests to smoke outside of the building during halftime or breaks. Walking out to a face full of smoke is fairly common, even for young students attending games.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, with 70 of those able to cause cancer. According to the CDC, secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers. The CDC reports that, “Even brief secondhand smoke exposure can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion.”

Some school districts have taken a zero tolerance policy on smoking by banning tobacco on all school property any time of the day, any day of the week.

What are your thoughts on smoking on school grounds?