Schools approve tobacco ban

The Portage Township School Board this week approved a ban on all tobacco products on school property effective Jan. 1, but now are investigating how they could control another questionable substance – nicotine-laden candy.

Board member Glenda Owens said she’s concerned after hearing about a new product during a recent Indiana School Board Association convention. A company is test marketing a nicotine-laden candy and strips in Indianapolis. The new products, which could be on the general market in less than a year, are packaged in containers resembling cigarette packs.

School smoking ban

Owens suggested language be added to the tobacco-ban policies that would also ban the nicotine products from district property.

“What if a user of tobacco was at a school event, but instead (of smoking a cigarette) chewed nicotine gum to satisfy the craving?” Superintendent Mike Berta asked.

Members discussed the ramifications of how such language could affect nicotine replacement products and suggested only doctor-prescribed or FDA-approved products be allowed on school property. They also discussed how they could police the use of nicotine-laden or nicotine replacement products, especially by staff or visitors.

Members agreed to pass the tobacco-banning policies as written and further investigate the new nicotine candy products to develop a new policy to ban their use by students on school property.

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