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South Colonie schools adopt tobacco policy

Phone numbers for hot lines of these programs have also been distributed on palm cards that were handed out a football games, said Leahey.

Also changed on the new policy is the expansion of the term "tobacco."

John Noetzel, spokesman for the South Colonie Schools, said, "The tobacco free policy is much more comprehensive."

Noetzel added that the plan includes chewing tobacco and other, smokeless items. "I think a lot of people know [chewing tobacco] is a popular tobacco today. That's just my opinion," he said.

Leahey said, so far, not one person has expressed opposition to the new policy. "Even people who smoke realize what it's all about," he said, "There's no real, that I know of, coalition or organized group of people that would assemble and speak out against this."

Noetzel said there were "lots of loopholes" in the previous policy, such as the exemption of smokeless tobaccos, but that these loopholes have been addressed in the new policy.

According to Leahey, though Capital Region BOCES and the South Colonie Central School District are proud of the work that was done to produce the new policy, there is more work to be done.

Part of the continuation of work on the policy is a committee that will meet "a few times per semester," as needed, according to Leahey, and discuss further ways the group can work together to improve the smoking situation in the South Colonie schools.

"We're not done," said Leahey, "We're going to continue meeting and continue looking at things we can do to combat students' use of tobacco products and not just students but also other people who use our facility."

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