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Tobacco Free Schools Program

The Tobacco Free Schools program assists schools in Lewis and Jefferson counties in developing and implementing comprehensive tobacco-free policies. The goal of this statewide initiative is to have 1,000 tobacco-free schools in New York State by 2009.

Research shows that the use of tobacco products is correlated to an increase in the use of alcohol and other drugs, sexual activity, fighting, and lowers academic performance. Environmental prevention strategies (such as policies, enforcement and signage) are an integral part of a comprehensive approach to the prevention of tobacco and other drug problems. Environmental strategies enhance individual methods by creating and reinforcing conditions that promote healthy behaviors. Schools are leaders in the community, and by effectively implementing a strong tobacco free policy, schools cultivate normative changes in the community.

Each year Robin will be working with a limited number of middle and high school buildings and/or districts in Lewis and Jefferson Counties. These schools will receive technical assistance for policy review, development and implementation. Some of the specific areas to be reviewed will include signage, enforcement, alternatives to suspension, and staff training. The Tobacco Free Schools Initiative uses research-based best practices in assisting schools in becoming a Certified Tobacco Free School.


(L to R) Robin Virkler, Tobacco Free Schools Coordinator and Rick Stoddard, Tobacco Control Advocate

Schools participating with the Tobacco Free Schools Program to implement comprehensive tobacco policies for their district are as follows:

  • Alexandria Bay Central

  • Beaver River Central

  • Belleville Henderson Central

  • Carthage Central

  • Copenhagen Central

  • General Brown Central

  • Harrisville Central

  • Indian River Central Schools

  • LaFargeville Central

  • Lowville Academy and Central School

  • Lyme Central

  • Sackets Harbor Central

  • South Jefferson Central

  • South Lewis Central

  • Thousand Islands Central Schools

  • Watertown City School


7714 Number Three Rd
Lowville, NY 13367
Tel: 315-376-2321
Fax: 315-376-2347

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