Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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Ban all tobacco products at schools

Iowans are confused by the fact that only cigarettes are prohibited from school grounds in the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act. This means people can still legally use tobacco chew, snuff, orbs, sticks, snus, and other emerging tobacco products on school grounds.

As a state, we need to ban all tobacco products on school grounds and fight for division 5 in the Senate education-reform bill. This bill will ensure that all Iowa schools are tobacco free.

Tobacco use on Iowa school grounds reflects on poor academic performance and attendance. Each year, 4,000 Iowa kids under the age of 18 become daily tobacco users. In Iowa, 52 percent of students who use tobacco earn a grade of a D or F and are 64 percent more likely to miss 10 or more days of school.

If we want to be the leader and the healthiest state, we need to start with tobacco-free schools.

I appreciate the efforts of many members of our state Legislature who strongly encourage tobacco-free schools. As an advocate for strong and healthy communities and kids, I strongly support the idea of prohibiting the use of all tobacco and nicotine products on property owned by K-12 Iowa schools. A statewide Tobacco Free School policy will help our Iowa students succeed.

Greg Clancy
Iowa resident

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