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Tobacco-Free School District Certification

The process to certify districts and county offices of education as meeting California Health and Safety Code requirements as tobacco-free.

This page provides parents, teachers, students, administrators, coaches and community advocates with information about the California Department of Education’s (CDE) tobacco-free school district certification process.

A tobacco-free school prohibits all tobacco use anytime, anywhere by anyone on all school property, and at all school-sponsored events (California Health and Safety Code Section 104420 [n][2]). School property includes buildings, grounds and vehicles owned or leased by the school. School-sponsored events include sporting events, school dances and other events held on and off school property.

The goal of the CDE's tobacco-free school district certification process is to protect our children's health by encouraging all school districts and county offices of education (COEs) in California to adopt a model 100 percent tobacco-free policy. CDE staff works closely with the California Department of Public Health’s California Tobacco Control Program to promote smoke-free environments and tobacco-free lifestyles throughout the state, particularly among California youth.

School districts are certified by the COE in which the district resides as meeting the requirements of California Health and Safety Code. COE's are certified by the CDE’s Coordinated School Health and Safety Office.

Certified Tobacco-Free School Districts and COEs (XLSX)
Certified school districts and COEs that meet the California Health and Safety Code Tobacco-Free Schools requirements.

The Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Office will post the current tobacco certified status list for each county, district, and direct funded charter school by August 15th of each year to the TUPE Tobacco-Free School District Certification web page. If the TUPE Office does not receive the original signed certification by July 1st, the grantee may be at risk of not being reflected on the updated Certified Tobacco-Free School Districts and COEs list when it is posted on August 15th. Certifications received after July 1, may be in good standing, however the current certification status will be reflected on the next cycle of the web page update the following year.

Tobacco-Free Certification Form (PDF)
Form and instructions detailing the documentation school districts must provide to COEs to obtain tobacco-free schools district certification. These same documents apply to COEs seeking certification from the CDE.

Instructions for Completion of Tobacco-Free Certification Documents (DOCX)
The district, direct-funded charter school, or county office of education (COE) must meet the requirements for tobacco-free certification by July 1 to apply for Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) funding during that fiscal year (FY). If the district, charter school, or COE does not meet the requirements for certification until after July 1, they are ineligible to apply for TUPE funding until the following FY. If compliance cannot be documented for any compliance requirement, the agency is not eligible to apply for TUPE funding from the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Surtax Fund.

Sample Assurances of Compliance with Tobacco-Free Policy Letter (DOCX)
This memorandum is an assurance to the California Department of Education that the agency will enforce all aspects of the policy adopted by the agency's Governing Board.

Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions and answers about Tobacco-Free School District Certification.

Questions:   Nicole Pineda | npineda@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0331
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, December 17, 2019