Iowa State University Enacts New Policy to Prohibit E-Cigarettes on Campus
As the e-cigarette industry has exploded over the last decade, regulation has yet to follow suit. However, in spite of the lack of formal regulation of the product, there is a growing trend to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in the same locations where smoking traditional cigarettes is prohibited. Iowa State University recently adopted this measure for their smoke-free campus. Previously, only cigarettes had been banned; however, the university recently took this ban a step further by including e-cigarettes.
Iowa State University first adopted its plan to become a smoke free university in July 2008. The goal was to reduce the amount of tobacco exposure to its students, faculty, and other individuals on campus. It also found that the smell of cigarettes posed a nuisance to those on campus. In 2010, the university noticed that there was a growing trend amongst its students, who were smoking e-cigarettes and thereby circumventing the ban. The university also noted that e-cigarettes had not been proven to be an effective method to quit smoking, but instead simply provided a different method to deliver nicotine into the body.
As a result of the risks associated with e-cigarettes, Iowa State University has enacted a ban on all e-cigarette products beginning on January 1, 2016. The university further noted that it hoped the policy change would bring awareness to the dangers posed by use of the e-cigarette products.
As acknowledged by Iowa State University, a shift from cigarettes to e-cigarettes only changes the mechanism of delivery of the nicotine associated with either product. Nicotine is still unsafe, which means that e-cigarettes will never truly be as “safe” as they advertise.