Students seek 100% tobacco free county policy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students seek 100% tobacco free county policy

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LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

Some Lee county students are asking the school board to change the current tobacco policy. Students and the Cancer Coalition want to make Lee County 100 percent tobacco free.

The Trojans Youth Coalition presented the school board with the cold hard facts of smoking. Lee County ranks 2nd in lung cancer cases within the 14 counties in South Georgia .

"Some Lee County students started smoking or using other tobacco products at age 13," said student Turner Hitt.

More than 10 thousand Georgians die of tobacco use each year.

The students presented a container with cigarette butts found on school grounds near the football field.

"Even though we have a tobacco free policy here it wasn't being enforced nobody was following it," said Hitt.

Hitt's grandfather died from the effects of smoking. He's concerned when he sees others on that road.
And now sees a new trend and easy access to e-cigarettes.

Without the smoke and smell it's harder for teachers and parents to realize the children are using them.

"You can say they were designed to stop people from smoking but since its legal for teens to buy these it really doesn't help," said Hitt.

If passed, the new policy would mean the school district would be 100 percent tobacco free including e-cigarettes.

"Any type of tobacco products can't be used on campus or any community event that might be held on campus or off campus activities that are sponsored by school system," said Kimberly Scott with Cancer Coalition of South Georgia.

For the Cancer coalition it's a step by step process.

"Georgia is one of the states that is in a process that happens county by county," explained Scott.

Early County passed a 100 percent tobacco free policy last June. The Trojans Against Tobacco Youth Coalition says this policy is not the norm.

Scott says when kids see their parents smoking it sends the wrong message, and she wants to make sure generational use is not repeated.

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