Cigarettes are responsible for nearly 443,000 deaths per year in the United States. Eighty percent of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 18. In 2009, 17.2% of high school and 5.2% of middle school youths reported being a smoker. Research on school perceptions suggests that "engaged" students get more from school on all levels, including reduced health risk behaviors. The purpose of this study was to identify which school perceptions are protective against tobacco use in a sample of middle school youths. Results conclude that high levels of educational attachment are significantly associated with low levels of tobacco use. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.