The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to consider a bill today that would forbid anyone on school property from using smokeless tobacco products. It’s already illegal to light up a cigarette or cigar on school grounds, but Senator Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says it’s time to make schools completely tobacco-free zones.
“We realize that any tobacco-related product has the possibility of increasing the liklihood of nicotine addiction and causing a variety of other adverse health effects,” Quirmbach says. “And we just want all of that out of the school environment.” Senator Roby Smith, a Republican from Davenport, supports the move.
“I think it gives the right message to young adults…that if you’re going to school, we don’t want you using tobacco products,” he says. Both Smith and Quirmbach say it just makes sense to forbid teachers, coaches and other adult school employees from using “chew” or some of the other smokeless tobacco product when they’re on school property.
“You know, we just want students to be free of exposure to that as much as we can — we can’t control everything,” Quirmbach says. “And certainly, adults on school campuses — we’d like them to model healthy behaviors for students.” Smith and Quirmbach were part of a three-member senate subcommittee that endorsed the proposal Tuesday.