Keeping Students Healthy for Years to Come
Tobacco-free school policies protect kids from secondhand smoke and discourage them from starting smoking
Children spend nearly 1,000 hours at school each year. While schools should be a safe, healthy place for kids to learn, many Colorado schools still allow smoking and tobacco use on their campuses, exposing students to health risks and promoting unhealthy addictions.
The dangers of tobacco use on school campuses
Allowing smoking at schools exposes kids — as well as teachers and staff — to dangerous secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause a number of health problems in children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections and ear infections. In adults, it can cause coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.1
But are kids still using tobacco?
One out of five Colorado middle and high school students have smoked a cigarette, and nearly half of them have vaped.2 In fact, each year, more than 3,400 Colorado kids become new daily smokers;3 nearly 90 percent of adult cigarette smokers first tried tobacco before the age of 18.4
And adolescents aren’t just smoking at parties — many are smoking at school, too. One study of students age 15-18 found that over half had experienced secondhand smoke on school property in the past month.5
So how do we protect kids?
Implement a tobacco-free school policy. In addition to protecting kids from secondhand smoke, studies have shown that tobacco-free spaces are proven to encourage them to never starting smoking.6 One study stated: “Regulations restricting smoking in public places appear to have a considerable impact on teenage smoking behavior … [and] affect the teenager’s decision to become a smoker.”7
Keep kids healthy, both now and in the future, by supporting tobacco-free schools.