By the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Of Kentucky’s 172 school districts, 164 now have adopted policies to prohibit the use of any tobacco products by all persons at all times on campus and in school vehicles. That’s 95 percent, and two more school districts are planning to adopt the pro-health policy this month, which means 97 percent of Kentucky schools will be tobacco-free by the end of 2019.

Prior to passage of the tobacco-free schools law for which the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow advocated during the 2019 General Assembly, 42 percent of Kentucky school districts had voluntarily adopted the policy. The new law allows districts to opt-out, but the Coalition is working hard to encourage every district to opt in. Only the Union County Schools district has decided to adopt a policy that doesn’t comply, and it may still go tobacco-free in the future. If you live in that county, please contact your school board members to support protecting students from tobacco use at school.

To help schools make the decision to go tobacco-free now instead of later, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Medical Association are providing tobacco-free campus signage at no cost, on a first-come, first-served basis, to all districts that adopt the policy this calendar year. The signage began shipping out last week to nearly 100 districts who took advantage of the free offer.

Beginning in January, the Foundation and KMA will open the free signage offer to schools that had gone tobacco-free on their own before the 2019 law. So far, more than 31 previously tobacco-free districts are in line. If your district hasn’t placed its order, the supply is waning. Download the order form and learn more about the program here.

Kentucky parents, teachers, lawmakers, and health-care providers are looking for solutions to skyrocketing youth e-cigarette use, which has jeopardized decades of progress in reducing tobacco use among adolescents and teens.

Register to join the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in Frankfort for a rally to support priorities that will reduce e-cigarette and vape use among Kentucky youth.