Help to Promote Smoke-Free Schools Comes With One Catch

Aug 22, 2019

Abbi Stratton, a senior from Graves County, thinks vaping can be curbed but it will take time.
Credit Mary Meehan / WEKU.Fm and The Ohio Valley ReSource

Health advocates are helping reinforce the idea of smoke-free schools, with a particular focus on E-cigarettes. Legislation was passed last year to require schools to be smoke free by the 2020-2021 school year. President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Ben Chandler explains, there needs to be a concrete next step.

“It provided however, no funding for that signage. I know everybody's shocked by that. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Medical Association and its foundation for medical care are about to remedy that.”

Chandler said that schools can apply for free signage for doors and vehicles and shipped to schools at no cost. There is one caveat.  Districts must adopt the model smoke-free ordinance approved by the state.

Vaping has become a problem across the state in recent years. 

Chandler said the materials will be provided on a first-come, first serve basis and encouraged districts to act quickly. Currently nearly 900 schools are designated smoke-free in Kentucky.

Abbi Stratton is a senior from Graves County where the use of e-cigarettes or vaping has spike in recent years. She said she recognizes it is an entrenched problem.

“Change takes time, obviously. And if when these rules first get implemented a tobacco free campus, it will be a hard change for some campuses, which is what we assume. But I think over the course of time, I think it will be a very easy thing for people to adjust to and I do think it'll become the new norm.”

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