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Smoking now extinguished at Henrico County schools

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – As a mother of three, Christy Liesegang wants to set a good example for her children and talk to her boys about tobacco awareness.

“We try to teach them you just don’t ever start that at all,” she said.

She told CBS 6 she knows the products are out there, but she’s looking forward to a new tobacco-free policy at Henrico County Public Schools to go along with her parenting.

“I’m sure everyone would agree it’s not a healthy thing and it’s not something that our young people need to see,” she said.

The policy bans all tobacco use by school employees, parents, students, and visitors on any school property. It was adopted by the School Board in September 2012 and takes effect on Thursday.

“It’s absolutely a health issue to create a healthy environment for the kids going to our schools and the staff who work there,” said Henrico County Public Schools Spokesman, Andy Jenks.

Jenks told CBS 6 News’ Chelsea Rarrick there used to be designated smoking areas prior to the policy.

CBS 6 asked if there was ever a time when of-age students were allowed to smoke in certain areas. Jenks said not to his knowledge, but some CBS 6 Facebook friends said they remember being allowed to smoke as students in some areas.

Christy said she understands some may be inconvenienced by the change, but said she’s looking forward to it when her children head back to school.

“I’m very, very excited,” she said.

CBS 6 reached out to other area school districts about their policies.

Chesterfield County Public Schools and Petersburg City Schools both have bans. But, there are designated smoking areas in Chesterfield County.

We asked if there could be any changes to those designated areas, a spokesman said right now, there’s no discussion.

The county says tobacco and tobacco related products include, but are not limited to:

  • Cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Pipes
  • Electronic devices that emit nicotine vapor

You can click here to read the county’s full tobacco-free policy.