Harford bans tobacco in school buildings Move is first by school system in Maryland.

May 12, 1992|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Harford County Bureau

BEL AIR -- Harford County's public school system will be the first in Maryland to prohibit all tobacco use in its buildings and vehicles as the result of a unanimous vote by the school board last night.

The ban on use of tobacco products by school employees, including chewing tobacco, takes effect July 1.

Students already are barred from smoking on public school property statewide.

The Prince George's County school board has adopted a similar smoking ban for employees, but it will not take effect until September.

In Harford County, employees will be allowed to smoke outdoors only in areas designated by Ray R. Keech, superintendent of schools.

The superintendent said the new ban will be strictly enforced, noting that "disciplinary action . . . could lead to dismissal."

A group of students at Fallston High School, concerned about the effects of secondary smoke, began lobbying for the ban last summer.

"I'm proud that we were able to do something," said Patricia Tilley, a senior at Fallston.

Before the new ban, Harford County's teachers were allowed to smoke only in faculty lounges.

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