On March 8th the Nottoway County School Board voted to protect the more than 2,200 youth in their division from the harmful influence of tobacco by approving a 100% comprehensive tobacco- and e-cigarette-free policy, which will go into effect on July 01, 2018.

This is the second school district in the Crossroads CSB catchment area to be added to the 24/7 Virginia School Divisions With 100% Tobacco-Free Policies Map within the last year. The first school district to adopt the 100% Tobacco-Free Policies was Cumberland County. Nicole Hill, Prevention Specialist at Crossroads CSB who has been collaborating with Y Street on this initiative has also been meeting with the other five county school board superintendents in the catchment area in an effort to update all the school districts tobacco policies to the 100% Comprehensive Tobacco and e-Cigarette-Free Policy.

Upon adopting the revised policy, Nottoway County Public Schools will become the 36th school division in Virginia recognized by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth as having a 100% comprehensive tobacco- and e-cigarette-free policy. In doing so, Nottoway County will serve as an example to other nearby divisions to do the same.

The new policy prohibits the possession of any tobacco product by minors, requires visitors to refrain from tobacco use on all school property and at all school-sponsored events (including those that are off-site), and removes designated smoking areas from all school properties.

 Comprehensive policies support a school environment that is 100% free from tobacco products – including electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products – by prohibiting any tobacco use by students, staff, or visitors on all school property and at school-sponsored events, including those that are off-site.

Youth from Nottoway High School will participate in a lunch event March 16, 2018 to help celebrate the board’s updated tobacco policy and to begin the implementation.  Students will sign an “In My Lifetime” banner sharing what they will accomplish by being 100% tobacco and e-cigarette-free. They will also take photos in front of the banner with pledge cards to showcase their tobacco-free school pride.

To help communicate Nottoway County Public Schools’ comprehensive policy to students, staff and visitors, the 24/7 campaign will provide all of the public schools in Nottoway County with free signs displaying the new tobacco-free regulations and a comprehensive toolkit to support the division and its schools in implementing and enforcing the new policy.