By The CNM Chronicle Editorial Board
Banning of the use of electric cigarettes in common areas and classrooms on campus is not right. In the article “Electronic cigarettes may be formally banned from indoor use on campus” on page 10, Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Moore said that the school has always considered electronic cigarettes to be the same as cigarettes, but often, these devices are used by students, staff and faculty in an effort to quit smoking.
It is true that the FDA is still researching the effects of electronic cigarettes on a person’s health, but many people have quit or cut down on regular cigarettes because of the e-cig.
If there were compelling evidence that e-cigarettes caused health concerns through the second-hand vapor, the ban would be understandable, but so far the FDA has only acknowledged possible health risks to the individual using the device.
Further, the policy, modeled after the Dee Johnson Clean Air Act, states that it bans products that use nicotine, but liquids for electronic cigarettes are available without nicotine, just flavor.
Another flaw is that students who leave in the middle of class, shoes with lights on them and people with brightly colored hair are also a distraction.
None of these things are banned.
A better policy on campus would be to allow faculty members to decide what is best for their classroom until a time comes when there is conclusive evidence that electronic cigarettes are a hazard to non-users in the area.