County Schools Begin Process of Cooperating With State's "Tobacco Free" Law With Signage Through Grant
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County School System is already making plans to be in compliance with a new state law requiring all KY school properties to be 100% tobacco and electronic smoking device-free by July 2020 with new signage.
Kathy Thweatt, a health educator from Barren River District Health Department, presented over a dozen signs to Edmonson County Schools today that were purchased through a grant obtained by Thweatt from the KY Dept. of Public Health.
The legislative mandate that was signed by the Governor in April of this year, requires all schools in Kentucky to be completely tobacco-free and electronic cigarette-free in all schools, on all school property, and by all students, visitors, teachers, administrators, and school staff.
The installations of the signs will begin immediately with hope that everyone will begin the process of following the mandate, which will become fully in effect in ten months.
"We started this process with these signs to get the word out about going tobacco and vaping-free," said Patrick Waddell, Supt. of Edmonson County Schools. "As they say, it's hard to quit anything 'cold-turkey,' so these signs will be put to use immediately in order for us to comply by July 2020."
The new law means no smoking, chewing, dip, or any e-cigarette, vaping, or juul-pod device will be allowed anywhere on school property; which will include schools, the board office, school sporting events, sidewalks, or any other school property.
"If the school owns the property, you can't use these products on that property after July 2020," said Waddell. "So we're asking everyone to start that process now."
Thweatt said local health departments strive to be a valued resource for schools and this was another way for the BRDHD to be such a resource.
"Schools have always been great community partners with us, so we want nothing more to continue to be the same great community partners with them," she said.
Waddell said when trying to teach students the dangers of tobacco and vaping products, it can be perceived as hypocritical to continue to allow those products on school property.
"As adults, we need to set the proper examples for our students and this is an excellent way to do that. Whether school is in session or not, these tobacco and vaping products will not be allowed, so we're working now to make sure everyone complies by next summer."