Iowa State University Considers Ban on Ecigs

As many universities debate how to handle electronic cigarettes on campus, a handful have chosen to take a harsh approach by initiating total bans. Most recently, the Government of the Study Body at Iowa State University had a heated debate about whether to ban ecigs and vaporizers on campus effective immediately. Nathan Davis, a senior in food science, has initiated the ban on vaping because he believes ecigs are potentially harmful since the FDA hasn’t approved them.

Davis said that after conducting a survey of local residents and the ISU faculty, he found that most people wanted to limit their exposure to vapor from ecigs. In the student body, there were a variety of opinions. Speaker of the Senate Gabe Walsh argued that there isn’t adequate scientific research to justify a campus ban at this point. He also wants to hear more feedback from students. Other members of the student body said Davis’ survey wasn’t enough reason for a ban because many of the individuals he surveyed wouldn’t even be effected by a ban on the ISU campus.

But Davis stuck to his guns, insisting, “This is a preventative measure.” He said, “We’re concerned about Iowa State students; we’re concerned about the City of Ames. It could potentially be harmful to our constituents.” He also expressed worry that ecigs often leak and could pose a potential harm to students on campus that could encounter the nicotine.

Megan Sweere said that some students have been vaping in classrooms and that it was definitely distracting. Richard Harnett agreed and pointed out that vaping could be a distraction that gets in the way of students that are trying to receive a good education.  Others argued that many students are using ecigs as a way to quit smoking and it’s possible than an ecig ban would actually lead to an increase in tobacco use by students.

Student body Senator Ryan Starn said regardless of whether ecigs are a better health choice or not, they still have no place on the college campus. “Iowa State is not a night club; it’s not your home,” he explained. “Iowa State is a place of academia. Smoking is smoking. It doesn’t matter what is in them.”

Do you think college campuses should ban ecigs from use? Should they limit them to outdoor areas or allow students to use them freely in dorms and classrooms?

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