The status of electronic cigarettes in Frostburg State University (Maryland) was left on the deciding hands of each professor. If the professor feels that the use of the smoking devices during classes is disruptive, he/she may enforce a policy that students should not use them while classes are ongoing.
In other universities and colleges, there are more stringent rules. As these devices proliferate even more, colleges and universities each take up individual positions in formulating policies regarding ecig use in campuses.
There are universities who declare that the status of electronic cigarettes in their campuses is likened to that of tobacco products so they are likewise banned. Some universities are proactive as they already adopt policies even before ecigs create possible problems.
Ecig Ban Discussed
After the 2008 state law banned smoking in any public places, the University of Iowa also began to be smoke free. Back then, ecigs are not yet as popular or well known as they are now so they were not included in the smoke-free campus policy.
This time, however, Faculty Senate and other university groups are talking about the possibility of banning the products along with tobacco. Spokesman Tom Moore said that an agreement is difficult to achieve. Some believe these products are unhealthy while others are wary in adding ecigarettes to the ban until further research or studies are conducted.
Ecig Popularity To Cause Ecig Ban
Their popularity will have an impact on the status of electronic cigarettes. Director Clifford Douglas of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network stated that as these products become more popular, colleges with existing tobacco policies would possibly include electronic cigarettes in the ban.
As per figures from the Americans for NonSmokers’ Rights Foundation, there are 1,178 campuses across the US with enforced smoke-free policies (as of July 201), but only 793 of them are tobacco-free. Many of these policies openly prohibit ecigarettes.
In Ohio State University, ecigs are officially banned from being used along with other prohibited tobacco products starting January next year. The policy states that everything that mimics tobacco products; that contains tobacco flavorings; that deliver nicotine other than for smoke cessation is prohibited.
Tobacco and Smoke Free Environments Aimed
Many more colleges are aiming for tobacco and smoke free environments. When 2013 began there were only 3 colleges in Maine that are tobacco-free; according to the Program Director Sarah Mayberry of Maine Tobacco-Free College Network.
Yet, by fall, there are now 10 out of the 34 higher education institutions that implemented tobacco free policies. Her organization advises other colleges to ban ecigs as they believe that allowing ecig use can only send out the wrong message that smoking is allowed inside the campus.
Some Not As Strict On Ecigs
While some universities seem to be too prejudiced about electronic cigarettes, there are still those who seem to want to give the users of these devices a little respite. In the University of Michigan, officials have responded to issues about the products, but did not impose complete prohibition.
The smoke-free policy here started to take effect even before ecigarettes were popularized. It recently prohibited ecig use in the health complex, but there are other areas in the campus where vaping is allowed.
Others Requiring For Conclusive Studies
Other institutions choose to be even more open-minded and not sentence ecigarettes until conclusive studies are performed. In Northeastern University, ecigs are not included in the smoke-free policy. This is according to Dean Terry Fulmer of Bouve College of Health Sciences and also the chairman of smoke-free committee in the university.
There are no evidences that ecig use harms the public as tobacco second hand smoke does. The university, she added, wants to focus on the public health issue of smoking. Their policy already took effect last August and could change depending on the development of things.
In Arizona, Pima County College administrators submitted their revised smoking policy to the board wherein smoking is restricted. Ecig and tobacco use will be designated to certain areas so that nonsmokers can avoid secondhand smoke exposure.