skip to main content

Policy 1050 - Tobacco-Free Environment

The purpose of this policy is to specify criteria for the HCPSS to maintain a tobacco-free, smoke-free, and nicotine-free environment, to help prevent the use of tobacco and nicotine products by students, employees, and visitors. The HCPSS also supports cessation efforts, and delineates the consequences for violations of this policy.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes the serious health problems and environmental hazards associated with using all tobacco products, exposure to nicotine and secondhand smoke. The Board acknowledges the necessity for the school system to ensure that the school environment promotes and protects students’ and employees’ health and ability to learn by providing tobacco prevention education and resources. The Board believes schools have a responsibility to help students develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles and is therefore committed to maintaining a tobacco-free, smoke-free, and nicotine-free environment for the health and safety of all students, employees and the public in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS).

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to specify criteria for the HCPSS to maintain a tobacco-free, smoke-free, and nicotine-free environment, to help prevent the use of tobacco and nicotine products by students, employees, and visitors. The HCPSS also supports cessation efforts, and delineates the consequences for violations of this policy.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) – Any handheld electronic device such as e-cigarettes, pipes, pens, hookahs and other devices for vaping.

  2. Parent – Any one of the following, recognized as the adult(s) legally responsible for the student:

    1. Biological Parent – A natural parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    2. Adoptive Parent – A person who has legally adopted the student and whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    3. Custodian – A person or an agency appointed by the court as the legal custodian of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    4. Guardian – A person who has been placed by the court in charge of the affairs of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    5. Caregiver – An adult resident of Howard County who exercises care, custody or control over the student but who is neither the biological parent nor legal guardian, as long as the person satisfies the requirements of the Education Article, §7-101 (c) (Informal Kinship Care).

    6. Foster Parent – An adult approved to care for a child who has been placed in their home by a state agency or a licensed child placement agency as provided by the Family Law Article, §5-507.

  3. Possession (as defined exclusively from Use) – The presence of tobacco products, cigarette rolling papers, or ENDS products on an individual, however small the amount, in or on any item or belonging under the control of the individual or owned by the individual, when such presence of the tobacco product, cigarette rolling papers, or ENDS products is observed or discovered or has occurred in any setting in which individuals are responsible to school authority and/or supervision.

  4. School Buildings – Facilities owned or leased by the HCPSS. This includes schools, central office, warehouses, garages, or other buildings belonging to the school system regardless of whether or not students are present. It also includes the parking lots of those buildings.

  5. School Bus Stop – A designated location where students board and are discharged from a school bus.

  6. School Property – Any property owned or leased by the HCPSS including vehicles. The concept of property extends to school activities such as field trips, use of parks and recreation facilities, proms at hotels, etc. School buses, school bus stops, and facilities scheduled by the school system for student use are considered an extension of school property.

  7. Secondhand Smoke – Smoke from burning tobacco products and/or smoke exhaled by a person smoking.

  8. Tobacco – Products derived from the tobacco plant that are smoked, chewed, sniffed, or otherwise consumed, as well as vaping products containing nicotine derived from tobacco. This does not include nicotine replacement therapy.

  9. Use of Tobacco – The act of inhaling or exhaling the fumes of tobacco or any other product that can be utilized like tobacco or the act of placing a tobacco product such as snuff, chewing tobacco, herbs, spices and the like in the mouth or nose.

  10. Vaping – The act of inhaling nicotine infused products through electronic nicotine delivery systems.

IV. Standards

  1. Tobacco product use in any form is prohibited in the HCPSS at all times.

  2. For all students, the use, possession, or sale of any tobacco product, cigarette rolling papers, or electronic cigarette products is prohibited on school property, at school- related activities, and on school trips to other areas or countries at all times. The prohibition also extends to the entire time students attend the activity, including during transport.

  3. For all employees, visitors, or members of the public, the use or sale of any tobacco product, cigarette rolling papers, or electronic cigarette products is prohibited on school property, at school-authorized activities, and on school trips to other areas or countries at all times. The prohibition also extends to the entire time individuals attend the activity, including during transport. Tobacco products should not be visible to students.

  4. The HCPSS will support tobacco use cessation efforts and offer programs to encourage students and employees to remain tobacco-free.

  5. Instruction on the risks and consequences of tobacco use will be part of the required health education programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

  6. Notification will be posted to inform students, employees, parents, and the public that school property is tobacco-free. HCPSS will post the notifications in clearly visible locations.

  7. All community organizations using HCPSS facilities will adhere to the standards and procedures in this policy.

  8. Cases of students, employees, or other individuals who violate this policy will be identified and reported; actions will be taken in accordance with the procedures developed and distributed by the Superintendent/Designee. Disciplinary action for violations will be administered in accordance with the procedures developed and distributed by the Superintendent/Designee.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Superintendent/Designee and school administrators will inform students, parents, employees, and the public that school buildings and school properties are tobacco-free and will communicate the provisions of this policy on an annual basis.

  2. The Superintendent/Designee will revise the required health education program regarding the risks and consequences of tobacco use, as necessary.

  3. The Superintendent/Designee and administrators will implement this policy.

  4. The students, employees, and parents in HCPSS will support the successful implementation of the tobacco-free policy.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy.

VII. References

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 10-107 (Distribution of tobacco product or paraphernalia to minor) and Section 10-108 (Possession of tobacco product by minor; use of false identification)

  • COMAR 13A.02.04, Tobacco-Free School Environment

  • Maryland Clean Indoor Air Act, MD. Annotated Code, Health-General Article, section 24-501, et seq.

  • Howard County Code of Ordinances, section 12-600, et seq., Smoking in Public Places

C. Relevant Data Sources

VIII. History

ADOPTED: June 24, 1993

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED:

REVISED: April 16, 2009, April 6, 2017

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2017