Senate Bill No. 88

(By Senator Rowe)


[Introduced January 9, 2003; referred to the Committee on

Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article nine-a, chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to creating the "Tobacco Free School Act"; prohibiting possession and use of tobacco products in all school buildings and grounds; eliminating exemption from tobacco restrictions for areas not used for instructional purposes; increasing penalties for violations; authorizing state board of education to further restrict tobacco use; and permitting law-enforcement officers to issue warnings in lieu of citations for violations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article nine-a, chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§16-9A-4. Use of tobacco or tobacco products in schools and school grounds prohibited; penalty.

(a) Every Any person who shall smoke smokes a cigarette or cigarettes, pipe, cigar or other implement, of any type or nature, designed, used or employed for smoking any tobacco or tobacco product or who shall use uses any tobacco product, whether chewing tobacco, snuff or otherwise, in any building or part thereof used for instructional purposes, in any school
a school building or school structure or on the grounds of any school of this state, as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen of this code, or on any lot or grounds actually used for instructional purposes of any such school of this state while such school is used or occupied for school purposes, shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, thereof shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not less than one fifty nor more than five two hundred fifty dollars: Provided, That this prohibition shall not be construed to prevent the use of any tobacco or tobacco product in any faculty lounge or staff lounge or faculty office or other area of said public school not used for instructional purposes: Provided, however, That students do not have access thereto: Provided further, That nothing a law-enforcement officer may issue a warning in lieu of a citation for any offense under this section. Nothing herein contained shall may be construed to prevent the state board or any county board of education from promulgating rules and regulations that further restrict the use of tobacco or tobacco products, in any form, from any other part or section of any property public school building under its ownership, control or jurisdiction.
(b) This section shall be known as the "Tobacco Free School Act."

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit tobacco use in all school buildings and grounds and to increase the penalties therefor.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.