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Editorial: E-cigarettes struck down by UCA Board

Posted: February 22, 2014 - 7:20pm

To be honest, we weren’t particularly wowed by the most recent UCA Board of Trustee meeting agenda. The most important item seemed to be another increase of fees and various rates on campus, but as we all know, fees and rates are increasing everywhere all of the time, so while it is important to note, it’s not exactly earth-shattering news.

Another item amused us enough to at least bring attention to it: the possible banning of e-cigarettes and “vaping” on campus. Usually, a potential problem might have to reach epidemic levels before being considered ban-able, but in this case, UCA thought enough of it to give it the once over. So we let people know this was a possibility.

And then the major media took over.

One television station in Little Rock jumped on the story, and on the day of the meeting, multiple media outlets were on the scene. An assumption that they were there for the fee increases would be wrong.

Apparently the e-cigarette fad is no longer just a fad. It is a full-blown lifestyle. The lure of these devices is that they do not contain tobacco. Instead, there’s a mechanism that heats up liquid nicotine, which turns into a vapor that smokers inhale and exhale.

Because they contain no tobacco, e-cigarettes aren’t subject to U.S. tobacco laws. So while UCA cannot treat e-cigarettes like they would tobacco products, there are those who are worried that the unknowns of direct or secondhand nicotine vapors are enough to recommend that they be stricken from campus.

The board agreed and banned the substance. It seems fair enough, if for the simple fact that e-cigarettes, like real cigarettes, do create an environment that can affect those in close proximity to the user. Although they may not be blowing smoke in your face, what they are blowing may be hazardous to your health.

So while the act of “vaping” may be helping those who are trying to get away from traditional tobacco and the health concerns they pose, the questions are enough to keep this new smoking sensation away from campus.

We just didn’t realize it was that big of a deal.

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tired of political correctness
tired of political correctness 03/17/14 - 06:00 pm
vaping is safer than cigarettes

banning e-cigs? really it is alot safer option than smoking a regular cigarette. i quit smoking after 30 years and was a pack a day smoker. what uca should have done instead of banning them was make a designated area for the students and staff who want to vape.. there is no second hand smoke , nothing harmful in the the vapor from them at all , and best of all no cigarette smell.. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Fch... join the face book group lets all stand up and make our voices heard

ConwayDweller 03/18/14 - 09:36 am

Got a source for that? If the second hand 'vape' contains any nicotine, it's still a carcinogen.

I agree it's definitely better than normal cigarettes, but claiming that second hand 'vape' is entirely harmless is going to require some proof.

Raving Bear
Raving Bear 03/17/14 - 09:32 pm
So the board can act with

So the board can act with alacrity to ban e-cigs or hire unethical former politicians but is frozen in time when it comes to protecting the Jewel Moore Nature Reserve, reigning in Aramarks graft off of students or controlling fees that are bankrupting the whole notion of education as valuable to anyone but the schools fed off of the student debt...

Not real proud of my Alma Mater at the moment.

conwayville 03/18/14 - 05:57 am

There IS second hand vapor and don't let anyone tell you any different. I work with someone who could "smoke" those E-cigs inside the building. While not nearly as "bad" as regular cig smoke, they still are definitely not "smoke free". I got the second-hand "buzz" often. Often from over 20 feet away.

They say there is no second-hand smoke, and while that is true (there is no smoke at all)...there IS second-hand vapor.

InsGuru 03/18/14 - 10:20 am

"I got the second-hand "buzz" often. Often from over 20 feet away"

Do you get a buzz from shower steam as well?

No e-cigs, but you can have pizza and all that other crap in their food court.

conwaygerl 03/18/14 - 10:27 am
shower steam?

Do you shower with nicotine?

lachowsj 03/18/14 - 12:41 pm
Remember Boone's Farm and Ripple?

Do they still make that stuff? It was an easy transition for kids used to fruit juice and Grapette Soda. E-cigarettes were first marketed as a stop-smoking aid but quickly moved to a pitch to kids who wanted to be stylish and sophisticated. The companies producing these things are concentrating on flavors and looks that are akin to Boone's Farm and Ripple. They are operating in an environment with virtually no regulation. They are neither food nor drug nor tobacco. The companies know that the law will catch up with them soon, so they want to position themselves well before the regulations come down.

To my knowledge, there is no study measuring the effect of these products on consumers, much less on second-hand effects. Common sense would seem to say that they are much less harmful than cigarettes but by no means harmless. I'm glad UCA is trying to be out in front of this. As more is known, they can adjust their regulation accordingly.

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