In May of 2002, the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) voted to allocate funds for a statewide Teen Tobacco Prevention Use and Cessation Initiative (TTUPC). One of the primary objectives for this initiative was promoting local adoption of and compliance with 100% Tobacco-Free Schools (TFS) policies. A 100% Tobacco-Free School prohibits all tobacco use anytime, anywhere by anyone on all school property and at all school-sponsored events.
The goal of HWTF’s statewide 100% TFS campaign is to protect the health of our state’s children by encouraging all 115 school districts in North Carolina to adopt and successfully implement a 100% tobacco-free policy. Before HWTF took a leadership role in the TFS movement, only 14 school districts had adopted smoke-free policies. As of August 2008, all 115 school systems will adopt 100% TFS policies.
Tobacco-Free School policies work. In fact, 2005 NC Youth Tobacco Survey data show that North Carolina high schools without a 100% TFS policy have the highest prevalence rates for both cigarettes (22%) and any tobacco (31.2%). The study also shows that, when compared to non-TFS districts, students attending high schools that have established 100% TFS policies are 32% less likely to be tobacco users and 40% less likely to be smokers.
HWTF Solution (program description)
In 2003, HWTF launched its efforts to encourage all 115 NC school districts to adopt a model 100% tobacco-free policy. The number of school districts electing to go tobacco-free grew from 14 in early 2003 to all 115 by July 2008.
Key Accomplishments (outcomes to date)
- High schools that have had a 100% tobacco-free school policy in place for at least four years have 40% fewer youth smokers compared to schools without the policy
- The NC Senate recently passed a bill (1086) that states, “All schools need to be tobacco-free by August 2008.”