WHY NICOTINE AND TOBACCO-FREE School CAMPUSES?
DID YOU KNOW?
Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18, and 99% started by age 26 (1).
More than 80 percent of the world’s 1.8 billion young people (aged 10-24) live in developing countries
and they are aggressively targeted by the tobacco industry and its deadly products.
Every year, 1.2 million people die as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke (2).
Tobacco use among youth increases the risk of reduced lung function, impaired lung growth, and early
onset of chronic respiratory disease. The lungs continue to grow well into adulthood, but inhaling the
toxins found in tobacco smoke slows this process and causes potentially irreversible lung damage (3).
Nicotine is highly addictive and can have long-lasting, damaging effects on brain development (4, 5).
Smoke-free policies help prevent smoking initiation among youth and young adults (6)
Tobacco-free policies reduce cigarette litter and cut cleaning costs
Businesses that allow smoking have cleaning bills that can be as much as 10% higher (7)
BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR NICOTINE AND TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOL CAMPUSES
The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health challenges the world has ever faced, killing
more than 8 million people around the world every year (2). Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors
for the most prominent non-communicable diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease. Nearly all tobacco use begins in childhood and adolescence, and early
onset provides more life-years to tobacco use, increasing the risk of developing tobacco-related diseases
Tobacco and related industries have increasingly preyed on children and adolescents, producing a global
increase in nicotine and tobacco product use among the world’s youth. Tobacco and related industries
have increasingly sought to exploit children and adolescents, employing marketing tactics and targeting
them directly with a new portfolio of products that threaten their health. They have made nicotine
addiction more palatable and easier to access through the marketing of products in sweet and fruity
flavors and the sale of products near schools, online, and in vending machines, where age verification can
be circumvented. Products have been made more affordable to young people through the sale of single-stick cigarettes and disposable e-cigarettes, which typically lack health warnings. Free samples are often
made available to kick start the habit. Tobacco and related industries offer scholarships and school
programs, cloaking their motives in the guise of philanthropy.
Schools are uniquely positioned to help prevent students from initiating nicotine and tobacco use and to
protect students from the harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke and e-cigarette emissions.
Schoolchildren spend almost one-third of their waking hours in school (11). Nicotine and tobacco-free
campuses promote healthy beliefs and behaviors and are particularly effective when accompanied by
prevention and cessation services.
Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recognizes that that
scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease
and disability (12). The elimination of indoor smoking through the creation of 100% smoke-free
environments are the only effective science-based measure to protect the population from the harmful
effects of exposure to second-hand smoke.
As a result, we are working to create awareness for school administration and teachers, students and families of students that tobacco use is prohibited on school grounds and in student dormitories.
In addition, we will set up a student anti-tobacco club, conduct a photo and Art exhibition, and take volunteers from our rehabilitation center to schools to share with the school community the health, social and economic problems they may have experienced with nicotine or tobacco use. We work with this broad awareness.
Please write to us if you would like to work with us on this work. Contact Us