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Smoking and Vaping on School Grounds

Published March 2019

In 2008 the Iowa Legislature passed the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act which prohibits smoking in enclosed areas including Public Places, Places of Employment, and Outdoor Areas around those places. It also includes Restaurants, Bars, Entertainment venues that … If someone is found to have violated the Act they can be fined or have a license suspended or revoked.

So how does the Smoke Free Air Act Impact schools?

Specifically, the act covers school districts and non-public educational institutions by prohibiting smoking in these buildings. The Act also prohibits smoking in outdoor areas on school grounds including parking lots, athletic fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, and any other outdoor area under the control of a public or private educational facility, including inside any vehicle located on such school grounds. Thus, parents and staff are prohibited from smoking anywhere on school grounds including in their vehicles.

Are E-Cigarettes or other vaping products covered under the Act?

Although E-Cigarettes, by definition are not specifically covered under the Act – individual businesses or property owners may ban E-cigarettes and other vapor products in their establishments. Thus, schools and school districts may adopt policies prohibiting their use on school grounds. See the Handbook for the State of Iowa Appendix E as an example.

Finally, students who are under the age of eighteen are already prohibited from the use of nicotine, alternative nicotine, or vaping products under the law. A student who is under age 18 in possession or attempting to purchase tobacco, alternative nicotine or vapor products will face civil penalties including up to $250 fine and up to 16 days of community service depending on the level of the offense. For more questions on the Iowa Smoke Free Act visit:

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 25, 2021 at 3:00am.