Tobacco Growing Communities and School Policy Compliance
In August, we celebrate the efforts to keep our schools tobacco free! On August 1, 2008 state legislation made all NC public schools tobacco free. The law prohibits at all times the use of any tobacco product in school buildings, grounds, and at school-sponsored events. This includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, pipes and all other forms of tobacco. The law applies to any person in school buildings, in school facilities, on school campuses, and in or on any other school property owned or operated by the school. This includes students, faculty, staff, parents, and visitors and extends to any school owned or school run property. Evidence shows that comprehensive community and school-based programs combined with mass-marketing efforts effectively prevent or postpone the onset of youth smoking. HWTF's Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Initiative (TUPC) leads these efforts by promoting compliance with 100% Tobacco-Free Schools.
In August, we also raise awareness to tobacco-dependent and economically affected communities. Tobacco use poses a greater burden on minority, low income, and low literacy populations. Characteristics that describe low socio-economic status populations include low income, individuals with less than 12 years of education, the medically under-served, the unemployed, and the working poor. Although there are many factors contributing to predicted tobacco use, socioeconomic status is the single greatest predictor.