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Tobacco-Free Schools Sample Board Policy

Assists schools in developing tobacco-free policies for business and noninstructional operations that meet the requirements of the California Health and Safety Code.

This sample is made available by permission from the California School Boards Association (CSBA) to assist schools in developing regulations to enforce board adopted tobacco-free policies. More information can be found at CSBA’s Policy Service Programs External link opens in new window or tab. or by calling 916-371-4691.

Sample Board Policy (BP)

Tobacco-Free Schools - Business and Noninstructional Operations

BP 3513.3

Note: Health and Safety Code 104420 mandates districts receiving Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) funds to adopt a tobacco-free schools policy that prohibits the use of tobacco anytime, anywhere in district-owned or leased buildings, on district property, and in district vehicles. Such districts must certify compliance with this requirement by submitting a California Department of Education (CDE) certification form and supporting documentation to the county office of education's TUPE coordinator by July 1 in order to apply for TUPE funding for that fiscal year. The certification process also requires submission of the district's written policy and enforcement procedures; see the accompanying administrative regulation for enforcement procedures.

At their discretion, districts that do not receive TUPE funds may modify this policy to limit the prohibition against smoking to only enclosed spaces, pursuant to Labor Code 6404.5 and 20 USC 6083.

The Governing Board recognizes that the health hazards associated with smoking and the use of tobacco products, including the breathing of second-hand smoke, are inconsistent with its goal to provide a healthy environment for students and staff.

(cf. 3514 - Environmental Safety)
(cf. 4159/4259/4359 - Employee Assistance Programs)
(cf. 5030 - Student Wellness)
(cf. 5131.62 - Tobacco)
(cf. 5141.23 - Asthma Management)
(cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education)
(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)

The Board prohibits the use of tobacco products at any time in district-owned or leased buildings, on district property, and in district vehicles. (Health and Safety Code 104420; Labor Code 6404.5; 20 USC 6083)

This prohibition applies to all employees, students, and visitors at any school-sponsored instructional program, activity, or athletic event held on or off district property. Any written joint use agreement governing community use of district facilities or grounds shall include notice of the district's tobacco-free schools policy and consequences for violations of the policy.

(cf. 1330 - Use of School Facilities)
(cf. 1330.1 - Joint Use Agreements)

Note: State law does not define "tobacco products" for purposes of the district's tobacco-free schools policy. The CDE's web site recommends that a district's policy define "tobacco products" to include products containing tobacco or nicotine, including nicotine delivery devices such as electronic cigarettes, electronic hookah, and other vapor-emitting devices.

The products prohibited include any product containing tobacco or nicotine, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, miniature cigars, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, clove cigarettes, betel, electronic cigarettes, electronic hookahs, and other vapor-emitting devices, with or without nicotine content, that mimic the use of tobacco products.

This policy does not prohibit the use or possession of prescription products and other cessation aids that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, such as nicotine patch or gum.

Smoking or use of any tobacco-related product or disposal of any tobacco-related waste is prohibited within 25 feet of any playground, except on a public sidewalk located within 25 feet of the playground. In addition, any form of intimidation, threat, or retaliation against a person for attempting to enforce this policy is prohibited. (Health and Safety Code 104495)

Legal Reference


48900 Grounds for suspension/expulsion
48901 Prohibition against tobacco use by students


39002 Control of air pollution from nonvehicular sources
104350-104495 Tobacco use prevention, especially:
104495 Prohibition of smoking and tobacco waste on playgrounds
119405 Unlawful to sell or furnish electronic cigarettes to minors


3300 Employer, definition
6304 Safe and healthful workplace
6404.5 Occupational safety and health; use of tobacco products


6083 Nonsmoking policy for children's services
7100-7117 Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act


1140.1-1140.34 Unlawful sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to minors


Eureka Teachers Assn. v. Eureka City School District (1992) PERB Order #955 (16 PERC 23168)
CSEA #506 and Associated Teachers of Metropolitan Riverside v. Riverside Unified School District (1989) PERB Order #750 (13 PERC 20147)

Management Resources

California Department of Education, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention

California Department of Education, Tobacco-Free School District Certification

California Department of Public Health, Tobacco Control Program External link opens in new window or tab.

Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board External link opens in new window or tab.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency External link opens in new window or tab.

Copyright 2014 by California School Boards Association, West Sacramento, California 95691

All rights reserved.

Questions: John Lagomarsino | | 916-323-1540 
Last Reviewed: Monday, July 13, 2015
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