The North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (The Center) and Fargo Cass Public Health want to remind the public that tobacco-free policies for schools and businesses are vital to preventing our children from using tobacco and for encouraging those already using to try and quit.
Two schools in Cass County recently strengthened existing tobacco-free policies and now have in place the components of a comprehensive tobacco-free school policy. Kindred School District and Northern Cass School District now join Page Elementary, Oak Grove Lutheran, Maple Valley and Grace Lutheran schools in implementing strong, prevention-focused policies.
Currently, 129 school districts in North Dakota have implemented tobacco-free policies that prohibit all tobacco use on school grounds or at school events. That means 60 percent of school children in North Dakota are protected from the dangers of tobacco use.
In addition, Family HealthCare recently implemented a tobacco-free buildings and grounds policy for their staff, visitors and patients.
“We’re incredibly grateful that local school boards and businesses have taken this important step to provide a tobacco-free environment,” said Holly Scott, tobacco prevention coordinator at Fargo Cass Public Health, “It shows that our community members are dedicated to keeping our community healthy and tobacco-free.”
According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report, tobacco companies purposefully recruit replacement smokers from youth and young adults to replace the thousands of their customers who die every day from using their products. Scott said one of the tactics tobacco companies use to market their products to kids is introducing new fruit-flavored cigars, chew, snus and e-cigarettes in an effort to addict youth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease in both our nation and North Dakota. Last year, tobacco use killed 800 North Dakotans prematurely and cost the state over $247 million in healthcare.
To learn more about tobacco-free school districts, and preventing tobacco use, contact Holly Scott at 701-241-8576 or go to www.breathend.com to see a complete list of North Dakota’s tobacco-free schools.