The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus is going smoke-free in 2018, which includes a full ban on electronic cigarettes.
The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska, working with university officials, secured the initiative following a survey showing the vast majority of students and faculty support restricting tobacco. The ban will cover all tobacco products, as well as vaping devices, which only contain nicotine at varying levels, reports ABC Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska will join a growing group of smoke-free college campuses Jan. 1, 2018, including Creighton University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Students and faculty will be barred from smoking or using a vaping device literally anywhere on the campus, including parking lots.
The student organization behind the initiative calls the ban a “no brainer,” however, critics say it is “a little bit intrusive” and takes away an option that helps many young smokers quit and reduce harm to themselves.
“They should be able to do it as long as they’re not harming other people,” Aribi, a student at the university, told Live Well Nebraska.
Public health experts in favor of vaping argue it is an important tool for young smokers, particularly for those in college, for reducing health risks to themselves and those around them. It also can be important tool for smokers trying to ditch the habit. They argue a vaping ban will make it less likely for students entering university as a smoker to try the devices to quit.
A University of California study released July 26 showed that a record number of Americans are ditching cigarettes with the aid of vaping devices. The rate of Americans quitting smoking jumped from 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2011 to 5.6 percent between 2014 and 2015.
That means roughly 350,000 smokers gave up the habit between 2014 and 2015.
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