The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees will review a committee recommendation Friday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes on the school’s campus.
The committee, headed by Dr. Randy Pastor, medical director at UCA Student Health Clinic, concluded "e-cigarettes" and "vaping" should be covered under the school’s existing policy banning the use of tobacco products on university property and vehicles.
The "electronic cigarette committee" drafted the recommendation in November, stating the medical community’s concern about the long term health effects from the devices and the unknown immediate effects of their direct or secondhand nicotine vapors.
Pastor states in the November letter to UCA President Tom Courtway that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not ruled on including e-cigarettes in its oversight of conventional tobacco products.
According to the FDA’s website, the agency intends to issue a proposed rule extending the FDA’s authorities to include hookah, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, other novel tobacco products, and future tobacco products.
Pastor says in the recommendation there is "strong evidence" the ruling will pass.
If the ruling does pass, electronic cigarettes could be subject to the same restrictions as other tobacco products.
UCA banned the use of tobacco products on campus in 2010, following the Arkansas General Assembly Act that banned tobacco use at public universities.
Before the legislation, UCA did not allow tobacco use within 25 feet of entrances to campus buildings, but smoking was allowed on campus.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)