Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Montana’s statewide tobacco free schools provision of the 2005 Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits anyone from using tobacco products in any public school building or school property at any time.
Passed by the Montana Legislature as part of the 2005 CIAA, tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, and spit tobacco.
Prohibition applies to students, faculty, administrators, alumni guests and anyone entering school property at any time.
School property includes any public land, fixtures, buildings or other property maintained at public expense where minor-aged children receive instruction and includes school playgrounds, school steps, parking lots, administration buildings, athletic facilities, football fields, gymnasiums, locker rooms and school buses.
School principals or their designees have the authority to enforce this law. Violators who smoke or use other tobacco products on school property can be fined between $25 and $100.
There are two exceptions to the law: Adults are permitted to bring tobacco on campus if it is part of a teacher or administration sanctioned educational lesson or if it is used as part of an American Indian cultural activity in accordance with the Religious Freedom Act
If you or someone you know would like to break the tobacco habit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). Materials and assistance for tobacco prevention planning may be obtained from health departments and tobacco prevention coalition staff; in Daniels County, Mary Nyhus at 783-5366; in Roosevelt County, Bev Azure at 653-6212 and Bonnie Wemmer at 653-6223; and Fort Peck Tribal Tobacco Prevention, Kenny Shields, at 768-7919.