Section J - Students

Policy Title: Tobacco Use by Students
Policy Code: JICG

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Tucson Unified School District, inclusive of all its buildings and property, shall be tobacco free 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.  This includes all days when school is not in session and all events and other activities not associated with, or sponsored by, the school.
Possession or use of tobacco products, tobacco substitutes,  electronic cigarettes or other chemical inhalation devices, or vapor products by students on District property (indoors or outdoors including school buildings and grounds, playgrounds, parking lots, playing fields and athletic fields), in school buses, District vehicles, and non-District vehicles and at school-sponsored events(whether on or off District property), including field trips, is prohibited at all times, without exception.
The Superintendent may establish procedures necessary to implement this policy.

Tobacco is defined to include any lit or unlit cigarette, cigar, pipe, pipe tobacco, blunt, bidi, clove cigarette and any other tobacco product, and spit tobacco, also known as smokeless tobacco, dip, chew, and snuff or snus, in any form. It also includes electronic smoking devices and substances used in those devices, whether or not they contain nicotine, as well as accessories such as lighters, filters, rolling papers and pipes.

  • Tobacco use includes smoking which means carrying or having in one’s possession a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other object giving off or containing any substance giving off smoke, and also includes chewing spit tobacco. Tobacco use also includes vaping which means carrying or having in one’s possession a vape pin, cartridge, or e-cigarette or other object used in the action or practice of inhaling and exhaling vapor containing nicotine or any other substance with or without flavoring produced by a device designed for this purpose.
  • Use means the chewing, lighting, smoking, vaping and any other usage of any tobacco product.
  • Tobacco Cessation Dependence Products approved by the FDA fall into two categories: tobacco replacement therapy (gum, lozenges, transdermal patch, nasal spray) and approved pharmaceutical products (Bupropion SR, Varenicline). See overview AAFP chart of FDA-Approved Medications for Smoking Cessation at this link.
  • It is allowable for staff and adult visitors to possess or use a product that has been approved by the FDA for sale as a tobacco cessation dependence product and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.
  • It is only allowable for a student to possess or use a product that has been approved by the FDA for sale as a tobacco cessation dependence product for minors and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose, assuming such possession or usage is accompanied by written medical authorization, written parental permission and adheres to all district medication protocols.

With regard to the mandatory instruction required by A.R.S. 15-712 on the nature and harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, narcotic drugs, marijuana, date rape drugs and other dangerous drugs, age-appropriate, evidence-based, cross-curricular, school-based tobacco product education (including the full range of products such as e-cigarettes and related vaping products) shall be included in the education provided for all students in grades K-12 in Tucson Unified at least once per year. Additional training may be required under drug diversion and the student disciplinary process.

Consequences for students engaging in the prohibited behavior will be provided in accordance with the District’s student discipline policy.  
Disciplinary actions for the possession or use of tobacco or similar products (including any inhaled tobacco substitute)  should not include suspension, expulsion, fines, or service fees or withholding participation in extracurricular activities. Unless there is strong evidence, the school should assume vape products contain nicotine when considering disciplinary approaches.
Under the provisions of A.R.S. 36-798.03, a person who violates the prohibition is guilty of committing a petty offense.

Communication Plan
Tucson Unified will inform students, staff, parents/guardians and the public at least once a year about the existence of this Policy. Tucson Unified will ensure communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate to the community and will use a variety of communication methods to ensure that all students, staff, caregivers, and community members have access to the information. Tucson Unified will keep persons with or those that represent persons with disabilities or other marginalized communities involved in all aspects, including updates to and assessments of policy.

The Superintendent may establish regulations necessary to implement this policy.

Adopted:           July 12, 2005
Revised:           December 5, 2012 [cross reference correction only]
Reviewed:        April 3, 2013
Revised:           July 23, 2013
Revised:           January 11, 2022

A.R.S. §§
13-3622 Furnishing of tobacco product, vapor product or tobacco or shisha instruments or paraphernalia to minor;
15-341 General powers and duties; immunity; delegation
15-712 Instruction on alcohol, tobacco, narcotic drugs, marijuana, date rape drugs and other dangerous drugs; chemical abuse prevention programs; definitions
36-798.03 Tobacco products prohibition at schools and school-related areas; exception; violation; classification
20 U.S.C. 6083  Nonsmoking policy for children’s services


GBED - Smoking by Staff Members
JK – Student Discipline
KCD – Gifts and Donations
KFA – Public Conduct on School Property
KFAA – Smoking on School Premises at Public Functions