Prohibits use of smokeless tobacco in public schools.

NJEA supports A-305 (Russo) which prohibits the use of smokeless tobacco in any area of any building of, or on the grounds of, any public school.  The bill also requires signs to be posted at entrances and appropriate areas notifying students about the prohibition and informing the public of the monetary fines associated with such use on school property.

Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that is not burned.  It includes chewing tobacco, dip, snuff and betel quid.  According to the Center for Disease Control, the annual health care costs in New Jersey directly caused by tobacco are $4.06 billion.  Whether they are using smoking tobacco or smokeless tobacco is not the issue-- they are both dangerous substances.  According to the CDC at least 28 chemicals in these products have been found to cause cancer as well as severe tooth decay.  Recent research shows that tobacco use might also cause problems beyond cancer---problems such as heart disease and stroke.

Statistics show that ninety percent of smokers start by age 18.  Teenagers are particularly susceptible to forming this habit and educators can play a critical role in helping to inform students about the dangers of tobacco use.

NJEA urges you to vote “yes” on A-305.