STILLWATER, Okla. — The popularity of electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes”, is booming everywhere.
But Oklahoma State University could soon ban them from campus despite their reputation as being a much healthier alternative to smoking.
E-cigarettes use a small battery to vaporize a liquid solution of nicotine.
There’s no ash and no smoke, but the vapor does give off various odors.
OSU says their intent to ban them is based on a letter from the State Health Department Commissioner, Terry Cline, who said research on e-cigarettes is extremely limited and researchers don’t know the health risk to users or the risk of secondhand vapor.
Student reaction on OSU’s campus was mixed Tuesday.
“My grandma got lung cancer from smoking, so I wouldn’t want that on anybody,” Amanda McEnroe said, “so if that could give the same effect, I wouldn’t want them doing that.”
“(The ban) is from a publicity standpoint, not from really a health standpoint,” Thomas Reyna said, “because they don’t have enough research.”
OSU released a statement on e-cigarette ban proposal, saying “OSU is proposing to update its tobacco-use policy due to the unknown impact of secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes. The change follows the recommendation of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and is consistent with Oklahoma State University’s ongoing efforts to be a healthier campus.”
OSU’s board of regents could approve the ban at a Friday meeting.