With interest in the health and well being of our young people and with an awareness of the statutes of the State of Maryland, the Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry offers the following policy and guidelines regarding smoking and Youth Ministry events in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Youth under the age of eighteen are not permitted to smoke at any archdiocesan gathering. No one (young person or adult) is permitted to give, lend or sell tobacco products to a minor. Any one who sells, loans, or gives tobacco products to a minor is in violation of the law. We consider this to be a serious offense.
Adults are free to make choices about smoking. We would hope that adults would consider their sphere of influence, and choose not to smoke at youth events. This would keep adults in greater solidarity with young people.
We know that cigarettes are addictive. We ask that adults, who find it difficult to avoid smoking smoke in discreet, designated smoking areas.
The state of Maryland does not view underage smoking in the same way that it views underage drinking. Parents sometimes are under the mistaken impression that it is okay for their daughters or sons to smoke, if they grant permission. These influences should help to shape a pastoral response to young people who make the unfortunate decision to smoke at our events.