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Tobacco-Free Schools

Tobacco prevention efforts in Ohio achieved an important milestone in July 2011 when the Ohio State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a resolution endorsing the 100 percent tobacco-free public school campuses model policy.

Download the Tobacco-free schools model policy 

Download the Vaping letter for school superintendents 

Download the Template Letter from Schools to Parents 

Teens and Tobacco

Nearly nine out of ten smokers first tried cigarettes by age 18, and 99 percent first tried cigarettes by age 26. Each day in the U.S., more than 3,200 youth ages 18 and younger smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers.

If smoking persists at the current rate among youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans 18 years and younger are projected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a fact sheet that shows the relationship between youth tobacco use and reduced academic performance

School Districts

Tobacco-Free Schools Policies for Ohio School Districts:

Tobacco prevention efforts in Ohio achieved an important milestone in July 2011 when the Ohio State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a resolution endorsing the 100 percent tobacco-free public school campuses model policy. An increasing number of school districts are adopting tobacco-free policies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that college-age adults who smoke already show signs of cardiovascular and lung damage, along with other health risks.

The dangers of secondhand smoke have been proven to affect the health of others, as well.

A growing number of school districts have adopted (or are in the process of adopting) tobacco-free policies to protect the health of their students, staff, and visitors.

The Ohio Department of Health's Tobacco Use Prevention & Cessation Program provides outreach, educational materials, conference calls, events, webinars, and other resources for school administrators seeking to adopt smoke-free or tobacco-free policies.

Ohio School Districts with 100% Smoke-Free & Tobacco-Free Policies

List of schools (including those not at 100%) and their scores

Adams County

Alexander Local

Allen County

Allen East Local School District

Amanda Clearcreek

Athens County

Austintown SD

Avon Lake City SD

Bath Local

Bay Village School District

Beachwood City

Bedford City School District

Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District

Belmont County

Belpre City LSD

Bexley City Schools

Black River LSD

Bloom-Carroll Local SD

Bluffton EVSD

Brooksville Local

Brown Local Schools


Butler County

Carrol County

Carrollton EVSD

Centerville City

Chardon Local School District

Chillicothe City

Circleville City School District

Clark County

Clermont County

Columbus City Schools

Copley Fairlawn City

Coventry Local

Crawford County

Crestline EVSD

Cuyahoga County

Darke County

Dayton City

Delphos City

East Guernsey Local SD

Eaton Community School District

Edgewood City SD

Elgin Local

Erie County

Fairbanks Local School District

Fairfield County

Fairport Harbor EXVSD

Federal Hocking Local

Firelands LSD

Fort Frye Local SD

Franklin County

Garfield Heights City School District

Geauga County

Granville EVSD

Greene County

Guernsey County

Hamilton County

Heath City Schools

Hilliard City Schools

Hocking County

Hopewell Loudon Local

Huber Heights City

Huron City School District

Jefferson Township

Kent City

Keystone Local

Lake County

Lakewood Local

Licking County

Licking Valley

Little Miami Local School District

Logan Hocking

Lorain County

Lorain County JVSD

Lucas County

Mad River Local Schools

Mahoning County

Maple Heights City

Marion County

Marysville Exempted Village

Mason City School District

McDonald Local School District

Medina County

Miamisburg Local

Milford Exempted Village School District

Monroe County

Montgomery County

New Lebanon Local

North Royalton City School District

North Union Local

Northmont City

Northwestern Local

Norwood City

Oakwood City SD

Ohio Valley Local School District


Paint Valley Local

Perkins LSD

Pickaway County

Portage County

Preble County

Rocky River City School District

Ross County

Sandusky County

Scioto County

Scioto County Career Technical Center

Seneca County

Shawnee Local

Southington Local School District

Spencerville Local

Springfield - Clark CTC

Springfield Local

St Clairsville Richland City

Summit County

Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools

Teays City School District

Tri Rivers Career Center

Trimble Local

Trumbull County

Trumbull Career Technical Center

Twinsburg City Schools

Union Local

Union County

Versailles Exempted Village

Warren County

Washington County

West Carrolton City

Westfall Local School District

Whitehall City Schools

Woodmore Valley Local

Worthington City SD

To add/update your school policy information, send an e-mail to tobaccoprevention@odh.ohio.gov

Tobacco-Free Colleges

In July 2012, the Ohio Board of Regents voted unanimously to recommend that each University System Board of Trustees consider adopting a smoke-free policy.

A growing number of Ohio colleges and universities have adopted a tobacco-free campus policy to protect the health of their students, staff and campus visitors.

Download a copy of a tobacco-free campus model policy.

Below is a list of Ohio Colleges and Universities with a 100%  Tobacco-Free Policies:

  • Cleveland State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Findlay
  • Wilberforce University
  • Wright State University

To add or update your college/university policy information, contact us at tobaccoprevention@odh.ohio.gov

The Ohio Department of Health's Tobacco Use Prevention & Cessation program provides outreach, educational materials, conference calls, events, webinars, and other resources for college administrators seeking to adopt smoke-free or tobacco-free policies. They also conduct a quarterly stakeholder call with administrators from Ohio’s colleges and universities that are interested in pursuing a 100% Tobacco-Free Policy or have successfully implemented a policy and are willing to counsel others on the process. If you are interested in joining the stakeholder call, please send an email to tobaccoprevention@odh.ohio.gov and request to be added to notifications to the Ohio College and University Quarterly Stakeholder Call.


Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing

In an effort to protect all residents from secondhand smoke that enters apartments through walls and other areas, public and privately-owned housing complexes nationwide are adopting smoke-free policies. Residents are advocating for these policies due to health concerns, and building owners/managers are agreeing to adopt policies in an effort that protects the health of all residents and saves building owners costs in cleanup related to smoking-related damages.

Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Rule

Smoke-Free Policy Proposal


Residents of Multi-Unit Housing

The best way to get rid of secondhand smoke in a multi-unit building is for your property manager to make the building completely smoke-free. This is legal. Talk to your property manager and make the issue important to him/her.

Five steps to smoke-free multi-unit housing:

1. Document the problem: Keep a written record of when and where you see or smell secondhand smoke and where it is coming from. Make a list of any health effects you feel from the smoke: headaches, sore throat, or any illness that the smoke makes worse, including asthma and allergies.

2. Examine the rent/lease agreement: There may be clauses in your lease about limiting bad odors (e.g. cooking) or loud noises (e.g. playing loud music). Smoking should be added to this list of things that could bother other residents, especially because of smoke drifts between apartments, causing illness and discomfort.

3. Build consensus with your neighbors: You’re not the only one suffering. Ask your neighbors if they have problems with tobacco smoke coming into their apartments. They can help you approach your property manager – there’s power in numbers! If your neighbors are experiencing similar problems as you, have them keep a written record too.

4. Recommend going smoke-free: Make sure your property manager is aware that secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing is not just a nuisance but a serious health problem. Ask your neighbors to sign a letter or petition requesting the property be taken smoke-free. When your property manager sees how many residents are interested in going smoke-free, hopefully, he/she will realize the importance of a policy change.

5. Educate your property manager: Taking a multi-unit housing building smoke-free has a huge positive impact on the property manager. Sure, it will attract more tenants and keep residents happy and healthy. But it also saves money by reducing the cost of cleaning and renovating units and may provide insurance savings. See the smoke-free multi-unit housing for managers page for more information.

Going Smoke-Free: A Guide For Tenants

If you or your property manager want help along the way, please contact us: sfhousing@odh.ohio.gov.


Managers/Owners of Multi-unit Housing

Benefits to Property Owners Adopting a 100 Percent Smoke-free Multi-unit Housing Policy:

  • Lowers risk of fire damage and deaths due to fires

  • Provides possible insurance savings

  • Reduces cost of cleaning and renovating units

  • Improves the health of all tenants and employees

  • Attracts more tenants and makes them more likely to stay

Making your property smoke-free is completely legal. A smoke-free policy is about the smoke, not the smoker. You cannot refuse to rent to those who smoke; just require that all tenants abide by the policy while on the premises.

If you’re not sure how tenants feel about a smoke-free policy and want their input, a brief survey could help determine what type of policy to implement. 

If you’re ready to take your property smoke-free, try following these eight steps:

1. Notify the ODH Tobacco Program: There are many options to consider with a new policy. Will you prohibit smoking on the entire property grounds, or just near windows and entrances? Will you provide a designated smoking area? What about patios, balconies, and parking areas? Contact us at sfhousing@odh.ohio.gov to start this discussion. 

2. Educate employees and tenants: Hold an informational meeting with employees and tenants. Explain why you’ve decided to go smoke-free and how the change will benefit them. Allow them to ask questions. Gain consensus. 

3. Revise your smoke-free policy: Write or revise your smoke-free policy by following the ODH model policy and rubric. This will ensure your property is recognized by the ODH as smoke-free and will receive appropriate recognition.

4. Determine an effective date: There are two simple methods for going smoke-free: either using a quit date or a phase-in process. Both are free of grandfathering and simple to implement.

5. Modify your leases: When adopting a smoke-free policy, include a lease provision or addendum that outlines the restrictions and penalties under your policy.

6. Post appropriate signage: Request to receive free signs from the ODH to remind tenants and inform visitors of the new policy. The ODH has signage designating both “smoke-free area” and “no smoking.” To request signage, please email sfhousing@odh.ohio.gov. Include communication to remind existing tenants, incoming guests, and maintenance workers of the policy.

7. Register your smoke-free property: Please email sfhousing@odh.ohio.gov to advertise your smoke-free property and attract tenants who are interested in smoke-free living.

8. Host a smoke-free kick-off event: Get your residents excited about your new smoke-free policy! Check back in with your tenants just before the policy goes into effect and a few weeks after. There may be an occasional conflict between tenants that need to be resolved.

Smoke-Free Housing Toolkit for Owners/Managers

Going Smoke-Free: A Guide For Landlords

The Ohio Department of Health Tobacco Program provides outreach and guidance for implementing tobacco policy change. If you have questions or would like educational materials, resources, or access to webinars, please contact us at sfhousing@odh@ohio.gov

1. U.S. Fire Administration - Smoking Fire Safety Outreach Materials

2. Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. "Regulating Smoking in Multi-Unit Housing."