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Tobacco and Nicotine Use Policy

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At HFM BOCES, we want you to quit using tobacco products that will harm your body. Not just put it away while you are at school, We want you to quit for your own good.

To help you, HFM BOCES is a Tobacco Free campus. It is against the rules for anyone to bring, use or distribute anything tobacco related on the BOCES campus, buses or events. We have resources to help you if you want to quit, but until then, the rules protect you and the rights of others. Anyone who violates this policy faces possible discipline, including ejection or exclusion from BOCES property and/or BOCES events in accordance with applicable Board policy, collective bargaining or provision of law. 

Tobacco and Nicotine Use Policy

The Board of Education recognizes that the use of tobacco in any form poses serious short- and long-term health risks to individuals. Research has demonstrated that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and if adolescents can be kept tobacco-free, most will main tobacco-free for the rest of their lives. The Comprehensive Tobacco Policy remains in effect at all times, 24 hours a day, and at all school activities on campus and off.

HFM BOCES has a “closed campus” that limits the movement of students during the day to school buildings and grounds under the supervision of district employees.

Possession/Use/Distribution/Sale: Possession, use, distribution or sale of tobacco or related paraphernalia by students at any time on school property or at school-sponsored events at off-site facilities is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, inside all school buildings, surrounding outdoor grounds within school property boundaries, in school owned or leased vehicles, in vehicles on school property and at all school-sponsored events that occur off school property. Students are not allowed to wear clothing that promotes tobacco products. See the Tobacco-Free School Enforcement Procedures for more information.


“Smoking” is defined as the burning or vaporizing of tobacco or compounds or solutions containing nicotine.

Tobacco Definition: For the purposes of this policy, tobacco is defined to include any lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, spit tobacco (smokeless, dip, chew and/or snuff) and any other tobacco product in any form. Also included is any paraphernalia relating to tobacco use such as lighters, matches, rolling papers, vaporizers, etc.

Prohibition of Tobacco Promotional Items/Tobacco Advertising: Tobacco promotional items with brand names, logos or any other identifiers along with tobacco advertising are prohibited on school grounds, in school vehicles, at school sponsored events, in school publications, or on clothing, shoes, accessories, gear and school supplies.

School Property Definition: Any building, structure or vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by HFM BOCES is considered school property.

School Grounds: Property surrounding buildings and structures, athletic grounds, parking lots, or any other outdoor property owned, leased, or contracted by HFM BOCES is considered to be school grounds.

Posting of Signs: Signs that outline the tobacco policy prohibiting all forms of tobacco use at any time will be posted at all primary entrances to school buildings used by the public and on school grounds where appropriate. A complete copy of this policy will be accessible from the central administration offices for those who wish to view or obtain a copy.

Tobacco Education: Instruction to discourage the use of tobacco shall be included in the health education provided for students in grades 8 -12. This will be taught by classroom teachers or staff trained in tobacco education programming.

Announcements: Announcements that cover the policy will be made at school sponsored events using P.A. systems or microphones as well as being included in print material handed out at events.

Dissemination: Students, parents/guardians, faculty, staff, and the community will annually be informed about the BOCES policy on Tobacco use/possession through such means as orientation meetings, class meetings, parent/student handbooks, faculty meetings, personnel manuals, newsletters and the web site.

Enforcement: All administrators, faculty, and staff will enforce the tobacco policy. Students are encouraged to inform school employees if they encounter tobacco use on the premises but are not expected to confront violators. Violators will be subject to disciplinary review and removal from the events if they are students or staff or may be asked to leave school grounds or the school event if they are members of the public.

Collaboration: School nurses, intervention staff, health educators, interested teachers and staff and appropriate community agencies will work to promote tobacco-free lifestyles through the use of such things as posters, bulletin boards, pamphlets, announcements, Tobacco Free Week, and other information sources to students, staff, faculty, parents/guardians and the community.

  1. Staff will receive training in tobacco and nicotine use prevention education. This can be accomplished through publications and ongoing professional development.
  2. Tobacco and nicotine use prevention will be appropriately integrated into curriculum. Students in grades 8-12 will receive instruction on avoiding tobacco and nicotine use.
  3. Providing positive alternatives for student such as extracurricular activities, membership in Reality Check, the annual Tobacco Free Week, and other events that promote positive activities in tobacco free environment.
  4. The BOCES will request tobacco-free versions of all publications in school libraries.
  5. The BOCES will not accept gifts or funds from the tobacco or nicotine industry.
  6. “No Smoking/Tobacco Use” signs shall be prominently and conspicuously posted in strategic locations on BOCES Property and in BOCES vehicles in accordance with NYS Law.
  7. Staff, students and visitors will be notified annually of this policy through presentations, student handbooks, newsletters, meetings, events and functions.
  8. Outside groups who use BOCES facilities will be notified of this policy by way of the Building Use Request Policy and Form.
  9. Tobacco and nicotine cessation information will be available to staff, students, parents and visitors.
  10. There shall be no advertising of tobacco on BOCES Property or functions.
  11. Intervention: The intent of intervention is to eliminate any existing use of tobacco and nicotine and to provide support services.

For those students in grades 8-12 who demonstrate that they are at high risk for use. The components of intervention will include, but will not be limited to:

  1. Providing cessation counseling and/or referral to community agencies for students who have demonstrated use or requested cessation assistance.
    Examples of Tobacco Prevention Programs available may be: At Open House, Parent conferences, One to One education programs, Not-On-Tobacco (N-O-T), and classroom parents and guardians on how to use the Community Resource Services.
  2. Educating parents and guardians on how to use the Community Resource Services.

For all BOCES employees, the components of intervention will include, but will not be limited to information on smoking cessation self-help, cessation programs in the community, and the New York State Smokers’ Quit line.


Individuals who violate this policy face possible discipline, including ejection or exclusion from BOCES property and/or BOCES events in accordance with any applicable Board Policy (including the Code of Conduct), collective bargaining agreement or provision of law.

The Superintendent shall designate one or more BOCES personnel to have the authority to report to the county’s enforcement officer possible violations of Public Health Law Section 1399-o occurring within 100 feet of the outside areas of the BOCES’s school buildings.

Reviews and Monitoring

The BOCES’ Tobacco and Nicotine Use Policy Committee will annually review the policy and make recommendations for change.

Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services

Legal Ref: Article 13-E NYS Public Health Law §1399; NYS Education Law §409; No Child Left Behind 2001, Part C Section 4303
Adopted: 08/26/09
Revised: 10/26/11, 12/16/14

See the HFM BOCES BOARD OF EDUCATION POLICY MANUAL, Section 0022 for the complete policy and enforcement procedures.