CU Banning Use of Popular E-Cigarettes

LAWTON Okla_ Electronic cigarettes have become popular among people trying to cut back on smoking or to quit altogether, but recently some businesses in Oklahoma City have started banning e-cigarettes.

Oklahoma State University is considering it, too. That trend has made it to Southwest Oklahoma and even to Cameron University. Cameron University has temporarily banned the use of e-cigarettes in all buildings on campus, but they can be used outside. Cameron said they want to do more research about e-cigs before they decide whether this ban will be permanent.

Cameron student Kerry White said the student body was sent an email regarding the ban of using e-cigarettes.

"It said some were smoking these e-cigarettes in class, and it was a disturbance," White said.

White said he's glad they are banning them, because there is no place for them in the classroom.

"You see the little cloud of vapor, and it's definitely a disturbance within the buildings," White said.

E-cigarette user Jade Neis said she can see why many businesses are starting to ban e-cigs.

"I can see how they would think it's a health issue, because they really don't think it's vapor," Neis said. "They consider it smoke, 'cause you're smoking it."

Neis started using e-cigarettes about three months ago to try to quit smoking, but she said she is still careful about where she uses them.

"I feel kind of uncomfortable smoking in some places, because I feel like I'm still smoking like a cigarette or something in public places," Neis said.

Although e-cigarettes are supposed to be a safer alternative to cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration has not adequately studied them to know their effects. White said even though it's vapor and not smoke, it still makes sense for them to be banned.

"There are a few times they were in this building, the student union, and I walked by them. It wasn't a real bad smell, but you could definitely tell that something funky was happening," White said. "I feel that if you go outside, it's a better place for them to be used."

The use of tobacco products is banned on all college campuses throughout the state. There are signs on Cameron's campus stating that it is a smoke-free campus, but there are not signs stating that you can not use e-cigarettes inside of the buildings.

The FDA is working on legislation that would classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products.