By Jamison Wagner, Staff Reporter | Photos By Rene Thompson
Smokers may be put out by the changes to CNM’s tobacco policies.
As of the start of the fall 2013 term CNM will no longer allow electronic cigarettes or any other tobacco product inside its’ buildings and all tobacco-related products will only be permitted in the designated smoking areas outside away from the buildings said Christine Burroughs, Communications Manager for CNM.
This is part of CNM’s effort to make its’ campuses smoke free and this will also include a communications campaign, smoke-free signage and to help students and employees go smoke-free, she said.
Students expressed mixed feelings to the Chronicle about the changes being made to the tobacco policies.
Timothy Brito, Teaching major said that it does not bother him if e-cigs are banned since CNM will be a smoke-free campus now like UNM as it will show the freshmen coming into CNM that the school cares about them.
“The ban is going to bother me a lot at times as a smoker, but there really is not a lot you can do about it. I am sure if the student body came together the administration might do something about it but it is hard to motivate people nowadays about things like this,” he said.
Brito said this may affect him as a smoker and contribute a bit to his stress levels when he is dealing with final exams.
If CNM does try to improve the designated smoking areas smokers may be more inclined to use them, he said.
“I know this is going to mess with student, as a lot of us smoke, so there is going to be a lot of irritation around here, but I do think this is a good thing,” he said.
James Scacco, Engineering major said that he has seen people smoking the e-cigs indoors and had wondered about the health effects but did not have a definite opinion about whether or not people should be smoking e-cigs indoors.
“I do not really see the point in a policy that is not driven by purpose or data so it does not make sense to me unless CNM does have a reason for this change,” he said.
Tom Sparks, Architectural Design major said that he thinks the policy change had to happen because of the high school program being put into place. However he said he does not care for the smoking areas being completely open to the elements and disliked the ban on electronic cigarettes inside.
“I think the e-cigs being banned inside is stupid. I used to have a company where e-cigs were sold and it is not smoke, it has been proven that the liquid vapor from an e-cig cannot harm airplane electronics, so how could it harm other electronics,” he said.
It seems like a way for teachers who have been complaining about e-cigs to get the e-cigs removed completely because the teachers do not like having them around, he said.
Sparks said he has had plenty of teachers who complained about his using an e-cig while he was in class and he feels that this change in the policy is more for the benefit of those teachers.
Alexandra Fowler, Chemistry major said that since she is not a smoker the policy does not affect her, but it does seem strange that e-cigs are being banned if the byproducts are not known to be harmful as second-hand smoke.
“I do not know too much about e-cigs but if they only expel vapor, I do not see it to be a huge issue,” she said.
As of now the campus has limited areas that are labeled as designated smoking zones outside the SSC, and are exposed to the elements with no coverage from sun, rain or snow, which can make it difficult for smokers to utilize.
Students don’t know where it is acceptable to smoke, as some spots are labeled and others are not where ashtrays are located at on campus, Fowler said.
Electronic cigarettes were introduced into the U.S. market in 2007 as an alternative to traditional tobacco products, offering a variety of different levels of nicotine liquids, and because e-cigs contain no tobacco these products have not been subject to U.S. tobacco laws, according to health.discovery.com.
The conclusion of a study on nicotine e-liquids was that “For all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes. The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed, according to pubmed.gov.
The smoking ban will begin in the 2013 fall semester, and will first start off with a smoke-free campaign on campus with resources, such as at cnm.edu/about/smoke-free-campus, where both students and faculty can find support to help quit smoking.