Burgin, in heart of Kentucky, is state’s 40th school district to go tobacco-free; ban, won by students, applies to vapor products

Burgin Independent Schools, in the heart of Kentucky, will be the latest 100 percent tobacco-free schools in the state, and the first in Mercer County, which has a strong tobacco heritage.

The Burgin Board of Education voted April 8 to ban all tobacco use, including vapor products, on school grounds and during school-related student trips, Robert Moore reports for The Harrodsburg Herald. The policy becomes effective July 1 and includes any building or vehicle owned or operated by the board and applies to any renters of school property.

Burgin will be the 40th Kentucky school district to become fully tobacco-free. Kentucky has 173 public- school districts, with 1,233 public schools, according to the state Department of Education.

The Kentucky 100 percent Tobacco-Free Schools website says, “Studies show that schools with 100 percent tobacco-free school policies for three years of more have 40 percent fewer smokers than those in non-tobacco free school districts.” The 2013 Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 18 percent of Kentucky youth smoke, and 47 percent of them have smoked at least once.

“I’m really proud we’re going to be a tobacco free campus,” board member Priscilla Harris told the Herald after the meeting. “We want to set a good example.” The independently owned weekly newspaper recently did a three-part series on tobacco in the county, including Burgin students’ efforts to get tobacco banned.

Kentucky 100 percent Tobacco Free Schools map, with Burgin added
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