RICHMOND, Va. -- A group aimed at stopping teens from using tobacco reported only 26 school divisions in Virginia are 100 percent tobacco free.
24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools is a campaign of Y Street, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth's (VFHY) teen volunteer program, that celebrated Tobacco-Free Spirit Day at 60 schools across Virginia Wednesday.
Only 26 school divisions in Virginia have policies that prohibit all tobacco and e-cigarette use and possession by anyone, anywhere, anytime on school property and at school events, even those that are off-site, according to VFHY.
While all schools in Virginia are required to have policies prohibiting tobacco use on school grounds by law, the group reported that some district's policies exclude a ban on tobacco use at school events or other school sponsored activities.
Boushall Middle School in Richmond was one of the 60 schools pledging to be tobacco free.
"As someone who is a parent to a child that has asthma and respiratory issues, it's important to me to have those kinds of environment where he can actually be free of air pollutants," Boushall Middle Principal Latonya Waller said.
The 24/7 campaign serves as a partner and a resource to schools throughout Virginia – providing schools with free signage and tools to help implement and enforce tobacco-free policies.