Measure to ban tobacco use at Kentucky schools moves forward

On Tuesday, the House passed legislation that prohibits tobacco use on school property with an 85-11 vote.

House Bill 11, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, would prohibit the use of any tobacco product, alternative nicotine product or vapor product on school grounds, in school vehicles, or in other vehicles while on school property. The bill would also prohibit use of these products by school personnel, students, and volunteers during school-related trips and activities.

Rep. Moser stated on the floor the bill seeks to prohibit tobacco use in schools and on school campuses in order to create a healthy learning environment and explained the policy would leave consequences and implementation up to the local school districts.

The bill was amended to allow local boards of education to opt out of provisions of the bill within three years of the effective date of the law.

The cost to the state of tobacco-related illnesses, Moser said, is $2 billion a year, $600 million of which are Medicaid dollars. Moser said it is important to pass the legislation to show Kentucky cares about student health and stopping addiction where it starts.

House Bill 11 passed through the full House and now heads to the Senate to be heard in committee.

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