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Legislation Tightening Status of California Schools as “Tobacco-Free” Zones Clears Senate, Assembly

March 21, 2016

Legislation that would require California schools to implement and enforce tobacco-free campus policies appears to be headed for the Governor’s desk.

In the Daily Californian, staff writer Sareen Habeshian reported that:

“On March 10, the California Senate passed a bill that requires California schools to implement and enforce tobacco-free campus policies.

The bill, known as AB 2X-9, requires that every school in California have a sign at its entrance stating that tobacco use is prohibited. The bill also expands the definition of tobacco to include products such as e-cigarettes and other forms of smokeless tobacco, thereby ensuring that these products are prohibited on campuses.

Assembly member Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), who sponsored the bill, emphasized that the goal of the legislation is to make all campuses in California smoke-free in order to protect children from the dangers of smoking.

“This bill is the first time that ‘smoke-free,’ ‘tobacco-free’ extends to e-cigarettes,” Thurmond said. “It’s an important distinction, because we know they’re being sold to young people at high rates.”

The bill’s fact sheet states that only about 600 schools in California are part of the statewide Tobacco-Use Prevention Education program, which qualifies them to receive funds once the campuses have been certified as a tobacco-free.

“The bill helps to clarify for the school district that they need to have a tobacco-free policy, and as it stands now, about 1,200 schools (in California) do not have those policies articulated because it’s been tied to funding,” Thurmond said.

The bill cleared the California Senate on March 10 with 30 voting aye, 8 voting nay, and 2 with no vote recorded. The bill previously cleared the California Assembly on March 3 with 59 voting aye, 6 voting nay, and 14 with no vote recorded.

Source:  Daily Californian

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