A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Letter to the Editor: Kristi Rulli applauds effort to ban tobacco in schools, supports statewide legislation

Dear Editor:

I am pleased to read in the February 4 edition of the NKY Tribune that State Rep. Kim Moser is sponsoring House Bill 11, which would ban the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on Kentucky school property. It is past time to take this important step. As a parent (of children aged 18 and 15) I applaud Senator Moser for taking this important action for the health of our children.

Comprehensive tobacco-free policies on school campuses significantly influence students’ attitudes about the use of tobacco – including E-cigarettes, also known as “vaping” or “juuling.” These electronic systems deliver high doses of nicotine in an aerosol that is inhaled. Nicotine is highly addictive and especially harmful to young brains, which are still developing. Research also shows that youth who start on e-cigarettes are actually more likely to move toward smoking tobacco cigarettes than their peers who do not vape.

In Northern Kentucky, only half of the sixteen public school districts have a 100% comprehensive tobacco-free policy that eliminates tobacco and e-cigarette use by students, staff, and visitors, inside buildings and on all school property. All too often, the most obvious of places go undetected. We must do better at protecting our most vulnerable and influential population; our children and our schools are counting on us. We are their voice.

Comprehensive tobacco-free policies on ALL school campuses will help create environments where being tobacco-free is the norm and peer pressure to use tobacco is reduced. These policies will reduce tobacco use among students. Schools with consistently enforced tobacco-free policies are more likely to have lower rates of student smoking than schools without tobacco-free policies.

As a parent and a health professional, I support a statewide comprehensive tobacco-free school legislation.

Kristi Rulli Ph.D.,
Parent, Healthcare Professional, and Community Member
Chairwoman of the Florence LiveWell Tobacco-Free Sub-Committee

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