News and Events

Dixie District Schools Revises Comprehensive Tobacco Policy
May 8, 2023

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in the United States. In 2014, an estimated 16.8% of adults were current cigarette smokers, and 9.2% of high school students smoked cigarettes. Nearly 90% of smokers developed their habit as teenagers, and students’ tobacco use in high school influences their behaviors later in adulthood. In June 2011, local public school districts were authorized to develop new tobacco-free school policies through an amendment to the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act.

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) is a statewide, school-based survey effort which is a survey instruments administered to Florida public middle and high school students. During the 2022 FYTS, 13.6% of Dixie County youth reported to use electronic vapor products on school property, 2.5% reported to use smokeless tobacco (dip/chew) on school property.  In 2022 26.5% of Dixie Youth reported to be current users of vape. Administrators, staff, students and parents at the Dixie County Schools have shared concerns with the growing trend of vaping on school grounds.

At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, Amanda NesSmith, a new member of the Dixie County School Board and also a parent of two Dixie County youth requested more information on the vaping epidemic in the schools.  She wanted to determine how the school code of conducts in each schools address the vaping concern.  The Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County shared the need for the Dixie County School Board to adopt a comprehensive Tobacco/Nicotine Free Schools Policy that addresses vaping and any other new tobacco products on the market. 

The Dixie County School Board was asked by TFP members to revisit the current school board policy to ensure they effectively addresses new and emerging tobacco products, like disposable e-cigarette (vape) and other nicotine products. After a review of the current Dixie County School Board SB8.32 policy, Tobacco Use in District Facilities, it was clear that the school district needed a stronger tobacco free schools policy that address today’s treads for the Dixie County youth.

On April 11, 2023 the Dixie County School Board revised SB8.32, Smoking and Tobacco Free Environment that created the most comprehensive policy to protect Dixie County youth from tobacco and nicotine addiction. SB8.32 address most of the Tobacco Free Florida’s Comprehensive Policy Provisions for Tobacco Free Schools recommended by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida.

These provisions are:

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County is very proud of the support from the Dixie County School Board for their support of the youth, asking great questions on the policy area and unanimously approving the policy.  The TFP plans to continue to assist with policy implementation, promoting the policy and identifying any new tobacco/nicotine products on the market aimed at the Dixie County Youth.  To see the new School Board Policy, visit and to join the Tobacco Free Partnership in prevention and policy work that protect the youth, visit