August 7, 2013
The following news release is shared on behalf of the American Lung Association Alaska.
American Lung Association Alaska
August 5, 2013
Anchorage, ALASKA – With the new school year around the corner and registration happening this week, Mission 100 wants to applaud the Anchorage School District's (ASD) strengthened tobacco-free policy.
The Anchorage School Board has taken a necessary step to keep cigarettes and smokeless tobacco out of ASD schools. At its December 2012 meeting, the board voted to strengthen existing policies and make all ASD school buildings and grounds completely tobacco-free, prohibiting tobacco use by all students, district employees and visitors. Signs specifying the district as a "tobacco-free zone" were posted throughout the district.
Until the December vote, tobacco had not been included in the district's safe work environment policy. The new policy became effective on December 3, 2012, and applies to district vehicles as well as students, staff and volunteers in charge of students at off-campus, school-sponsored events.
ASD Superintendent Ed Graff said, "These policy changes will go a long way in helping promote a standard of wellness in the Anchorage community and will create a healthier future for Anchorage students, school staff and all those who spend time at our public schools. It will also prepare our students to enter a workforce where tobacco use is quickly becoming unacceptable."
Marge Stoneking, Alaska director of the American Lung Association in Alaska and an Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance steering committee member, testified for the policy change: "ASD has taken a huge step forward by adjusting their policy to make all school campuses and vehicles tobacco-free, protecting the health and safety of both school district employees and Anchorage's youth. We hope to see all Alaska school districts review and strengthen their policies as well."
"Mission 100 provides free education, resources and individualized technical assistance across Alaska to aid in implementing effective tobacco-free policies and practices."