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Celebrating Tobacco-Free School Divisions

I’m Belle and I’m a senior at Central High School in Woodstock, VA. This is my second year in Y Street and my first year on the Y Street Leadership Team. My favorite campaign is the 24/7 campaign because of how much it can change schools all around Virginia.

The main issue that the 24/7 campaign tries to solve is getting schools to be 100% tobacco-free and making the rules more specific to the people who are on campus regularly and those who visit. There are many dangers that come with tobacco rules not being enforced, like parents smoking on campus because they don’t see a sign or don’t believe that the rules are enforced. Kids could be getting pressured into starting to use tobacco products because everyone else does it and it’s just a cool thing. When your school becomes 100% tobacco-free, Y Street will send you free window stickers, metal signs, and a big poster to be hung up somewhere in your school. We want to try to get more schools in Virginia on our 100% comprehensive map this year and get more people engaged in our campaign.

This campaign can help out our communities by showing young kids and teenagers that smoking really isn’t all that cool and is just really a dangerous thing you’re doing to your body. This could help impact young kids by not introducing them to the tobacco lifestyle. Being a tobacco-free school can help the students see that they don’t need that in their lives and it won’t help them concentrate better in school or with classwork. My school is not yet tobacco-free, but I’ve had 2 principal meetings and a school board meeting. My goal is for my school to be on the 100% comprehensive map before I graduate. I believe the 24/7 campaign is an important campaign because it can help the future generation and hopefully reduce the amount of tobacco products being made and sold to people around not only Virginia, but in every other place.

On February 14, Y Street will host our annual Tobacco-Free Spirit Day to celebrate all the schools and divisions with comprehensive tobacco-free policies. For more information on Tobacco-Free Spirit Day and to sign up your comprehensive school or division to participate, please go to 247campaignva.com/spiritday.

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