Purchasing or using tobacco products is against the law in the U.S. for anyone under 21 years of age, therefore ALL participants coming to the U.S. are expected to abstain from smoking and vaping while on the program. There is a minimum age law for purchasing cigarettes and e-cigarettes. In some states, legislatures are considering laws which would fine parents (including host parents) for allowing minors to be in possession of tobacco products in their home.
Please ensure that your hosted participant is aware of both your position on smoking and your state’s laws. We will treat violations of the smoking laws in the same manner as violations of local laws for alcohol use. Essentially, this means that our hosted participants will be subject to penalties prescribed by law. If fines or community service are required, the hosted participant will need to fulfill these requirements. The tolerance for smoking varies widely from family to family.
Since all AFS Participants are either nonsmokers or have agreed to abstain from smoking during their time on the AFS Program, they are expected to be able to live WITHOUT smoking. Open communication and having clear family rules on the subject will make it easier for your AFS Participant to deal with these issues. Please talk with your hosted participant and liaison if you have any concerns about smoking/vaping.
Experienced Host Family Advice: We did have difficulties with the no-smoking policy in our house and how our participant behaved at local parties and interacted with host siblings the same age as him. We had the AFS Liaison intervene fairly quickly and that helped to set things on a smoother path.