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Denair Unified to expand tobacco-free policy

Denair Unified School District is taking steps to expand its tobacco-free policy to include the prohibition of electronic hookahs and other vapor-emitting devices, with or without nicotine content.

“Denair has a school board that is absolutely dedicated to the health and safety of the kids,” said Superintendent Aaron Rosander. “There is no debate that our tobacco-free policy will be updated.”

With this update, the Board hopes to avoid the serious public health hazard that accompanies tobacco use and create a healthy environment for students and staff. The new devices will be added on to the list that includes the prohibition of cigarettes, chew, and cigars.

Rosander said that the rising popularity of e-cigarettes and other vapor-emitting devices among youth was the driving force behind this update.

“E-cigarettes have really been the impetus of the policy at this point. With the use of e-cigarettes proliferating, the California School Board Association has put together an update,” said Rosander.
“We have adopted that update, as will probably every school district across the nation.”

Rosander clarified that the use of these devices is not necessarily a problem within DUSD. However, the Board is quick to move forward and update the policy in order to protect kids and keep the campuses wholesome and safe.

“The policies are constantly being updated to stay current with trends and health risks across the nation, the school board policies get updated to assist us to make sure the welfare of students is always guarded,” he said.

The policy will affect all employees, students, and visitors who attend any school-sponsored instructional program, activity, or athletic event held on or off district property. Information about the district’s policy and enforcement procedures shall be communicated to all those involved, including employees, parents and guardians, students, and the greater community.

The school is mandated to adopt a district-wide policy that prohibits the use of tobacco products in order to continue receiving Tobacco-Use Prevention Education funds, which go towards the education of students regarding the risks of tobacco use. Rosander stated that the money often goes directly to health programs.

The district is also in the development stage of a program that will help students who are already using tobacco products. Through counseling and other methodologies, the program will aim to break the cycle of tobacco use among students.