• SCHOOL TOBACCO CONTROL

    The purpose of this FAQ is to inform and educate the general public on the laws pertaining to tobacco use and possession by pupils and use by any person other than pupils on school property within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    Pay particular attention to the highlighted text below.

    The bottom line is the use of tobacco by anyone on school property is PROHIBITED according to Pennsylvania State Legislation.


    FACTS:

    Pennsylvania's Crimes Code, Title 18

    Pa.C.S. §6306.1.  Use of tobacco in schools prohibited

    (a) Offense defined.-A pupil who possesses or uses tobacco in a school building, a school bus or on school  property owned by, leased by or under the control of a school district commits a summary offense.

    (b) Grading.-A pupil who commits an offense under this section shall be subject to prosecution initiated by the local school district and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $50 for the benefit of the school district in which such offending pupil is charged with violating subsection (a), the court may admit the offender to an adjudication alternative as authorized under 42 Pa.C.S. §1520 (relating to adjudication alternative program) in lieu of imposing the fine.

    (c) Nature of offense.-A summary offense under this section shall not be a criminal offense of record, shall not be reportable as a criminal act and shall not be placed on the criminal record of the offending school-age person if any such record exists.

    (d) Definitions.-As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection.

      "Pupil." A person between the ages of 6 and 21 years who is enrolled in school.

      "School." A school operated by a joint board, board of directors or school board where pupils are enrolled in compliance with article XIII of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, including area vocational schools and intermediate units.

      "Tobacco." A lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other lighted smoking product and smokeless tobacco in any form.


    Pennsylvania Department of Education, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities

    Act 128 of 2000

    [Fire and Panic Act of 1927 (P.L. 465, No. 299)]

    Section 3.5 School Tobacco Control.

    (a) (1)  Tobacco use or possession by pupils is prohibited in school buildings and on buses, vans or other vehicles owned by, leased by or under the control of a school district; and on property owned by, leased by or under the control of a school district.

         (2)  Tobacco use by any person other than a pupil is prohibited in school buildings; and on buses, vans or other vehicles owned by, leased by or under the control of a school district; and on property owned by, leased by or under the control of a school district.

         (3)  The board of school directors may designate certain areas on property owned by, leased by or under the control of the school district where tobacco use by persons other than pupils is permitted.  Such areas shall be no less than fifty (50) feet from school buildings, stadiums or bleachers.

    (b) (1)  The board of school directors may designate smoking areas for employees and shall establish policy to enforce the prohibition of tobacco use under this section and may further establish policy relating to tobacco use at school-sponsored events which are held off school premises.

         (2)  The board of school directors shall notify employees, pupils and parents of the policy developed in subsection (b) (1) by publishing information in a student handbook and parent newsletter, and on posters or other efficient means.

    (b.1)  An offense under this section shall be deemed an offense under 18 Pa. C.S.§6306.1 relating to use of tobacco in schools prohibited.

    (c)  This section supersedes any municipal ordinance or school board regulation to the contrary.


    For additional information contact:

    PA Department of Education

    Division of Student and Safe School Services

    333 Market Street, 5th Floor

    Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

    Voice (717) 772-2813

    TTY (717) 783-8445

Last Modified on December 15, 2006