Mainor & McKeon Bill to Ban Smokeless Tobacco from Public Schools Advanced by Assembly Committee

Legislation Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor and John McKeon sponsored to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco at public schools was released Monday by an Assembly committee.

“A person can become addicted to smokeless tobacco, just as with cigarettes, because smokeless tobacco contains nicotine,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “Research indicates that teens who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers than non-users.”

The bill (A-305) requires the board of education of each school district to ensure the placement in every public entrance to a public school building in its district of a sign indicating that the use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited in the school.

The sign would also indicate that violators are subject to a fine.

The penalties for using smokeless tobacco in violation of this bill would be a fine of not less than $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

“The use of smokeless tobacco increases the risk of certain cancers, such as esophageal cancer and various types of oral cancer,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “We also know there may be increased risks related to developing pancreatic and kidney cancers. Additionally, the use of smokeless tobacco increases the incidence of tooth decay and gum disease.”

The bill was released by the Assembly Education Committee.