To Whom It May Concern,
The Tobacco-Free Northern Kentucky Coalition supports comprehensive 100% tobacco-free schools
policies. Comprehensive tobacco-free policies on school campuses are powerful in reducing tobacco use
among teens and adolescents, which greatly decreases their risk of tobacco-related disease as they grow
into adults. Having such policies in place can help reduce peer pressure to use tobacco during school
hours and at after school events, as well as, create environments where tobacco use is not the norm.
There are twenty public, federally funded school districts in Northern Kentucky, of these twenty, only
ten have 100% comprehensive tobacco-free policies. 50% of the schools in our district are not protected
by a 100% tobacco-free policy.
Tobacco use typically begins before the age of 18, the peak years for trying tobacco products are in 6 th or
7 th grade, or between the ages of 11 and 13. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and adolescents are
particularly vulnerable to its effects. Each year in Kentucky, 2,900 youth become daily smokers,
additionally, three in four teen smokers continue smoking into adulthood, even if they intended to quit
after a few years.
Schools with consistently enforced tobacco-free policies are more likely to have lower rates of student
smoking than comparable schools without tobacco-free policies. Schools that have smoking areas or
allow tobacco use in any form by anyone on campus create the aura of acceptance of tobacco use. That
significantly influences students’ attitudes towards tobacco use in general and increases smoking
Northern Kentucky youth are our future. We must protect them from the effects of tobacco use and
from the influences of adults using tobacco around them. Nicotine is a powerful, addictive drug and
many teens begin using at a very young age. In 2017, cigarette use among Kentucky high school students
stood at 14.3%, almost the national average of 7.6%. Implementing a 100% tobacco-free school policy
that prohibits all tobacco use, means building a healthier future for all of our youth.
Tobacco Free Northern Kentucky Member