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Health officials fight smoking in schools

POSTED: March 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Marsha Pierce, coordinator for School Health Programs from the Coastal Health District, presented six Tobacco Free School signs, one for each campus, to BoE Chairwoman Lily Baker at the last Liberty County Board of Education meeting.
Officials for the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health have said the greatest opportunity to reduce teen tobacco use in Georgia is by collaborating with schools to adopt the 100 Percent Tobacco Free School Policy.
The policy prohibits tobacco use on school property and buses and other vehicles. Smoking is also prohibited at off-campus, school-sponsored events. The policy uses components such as youth projects, surveys, signs and media campaigns to educate students about the health risks associated with cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The development of a cessation plan for students and staff is also a critical component of the program. To date, 16 Georgia school districts have implemented the policy.
Dr. Stuart Brown, director of the Division of Public Health, said, "We believe that tobacco use prevention education has a place among other subjects taught in a school environment. The 100 Percent Tobacco Free School Policy allows us to effectively reach this targeted population and, hopefully, lower the number of teens who use tobacco-based products."

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