Should school teachers be prohibited from smoking on school premises?

Should school teachers be prohibited from smoking on school premises?

Recommendations have been made by the World Health Organization to safeguard learners from the lethal effects of secondhand smoke. 

Cigarettes image/ iStock

Smoking can have disastrous consequences on a person's health.

The National Cancer Institute states that tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people are living with a disease caused by smoking. 

According to the publication, secondhand smoke exposure is also dangerous.

It reportedly contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year and can cause stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults.

READ: Is it dangerous to smoke weed when you have flu?

The World Health Organization is on a mission to protect children’s health in schools from the harmful effects of exposure to secondhand smoke.  

WHO states that 'the tobacco industry relentlessly targets young people with tobacco and nicotine products resulting in e-cigarette use increasing and 9 out of 10 smokers starting before the age of 18'. 

It adds that 'products have also been made more affordable for young people through the sale of single-use cigarettes and e-cigarettes, which typically lack health warnings'.

As a result, the organisation has come up with a new guide and toolkit which features step-by-step manuals for schools to create nicotine- and tobacco-free campuses to ensure learners are protected. 

“Whether sitting in class, playing games outside or waiting at the school bus stop, we must protect young people from deadly second-hand smoke and toxic e-cigarette emissions as well as ads promoting these products,” said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, World Health Organisation.

Below are the guide's highlights: 

- Banning nicotine and tobacco products on school campuses;

- Prohibiting the sale of nicotine and tobacco products near schools;

- Banning direct and indirect ads and promotion of nicotine and tobacco products near schools; and

- Refusing sponsorship or engagement with tobacco and nicotine industries.

READ: Should non-smokers be allowed to take smoke breaks?

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @manassanant pamai

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