Electronic cigarettes are a hot topic these days, particularly on college campuses where many students are opting to vape as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. This week, Iowa State University held a big debate over this issue as the Government of the Student Body tried to decide whether ecigs should be banned on campus.
Senior Nathan Davis is pioneering the vaping ban because he believes vaping has too many risk factors and until the FDA approves ecigs, he doesn’t want them on campus. To prove his point, he conducted a survey of local residents and university faculty to see how people felt about being exposed to ecig vapor. He reported to the student government that the vast majority didn’t want to be around ecigs at all.
As the student body discussed the issue, opinions were split. Some students believe that a vaping ban is needed urgently while others think it isn’t necessary. Speaker of the Senate Gabe Walsh said he felt that there wasn’t enough scientific research to make a ban necessary at this point and he called for more feedback from the student body before the committee made a decision. Some members of the student body felt Davis’ survey didn’t offer much proof because the vast majority of individuals he surveyed wouldn’t even be impacted personally by a campus ban on ecigs.
Davis continued to argue that ecigs needed to go. “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.”
Student body Senator Megan Sweere said she was bothered by ecig use in classrooms. She felt like vaping was highly distracting in class and there should be rules to keep ecigs out. Richard Harnett also expressed concern about people using ecigs during classes. But some students defended ecigs by pointing out that students were vaping in an effort to quit smoking. If the campus bans ecigs, then they could potentially end up driving those students back to tobacco use.
Ryan Stern said that there is no reason to allow vaping on 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.”
For now, there is no clear answer on whether ISU will ban ecigs, but it looks like they will definitely consider it. Do you think it’s fair to ban electronic cigarettes from college campuses? Will it create a safer environment for students or will it ultimately only lead to an increase in tobacco use?