When the college goes tobacco free Aug. 1, e-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, will likely be included in the ban, said OCCC Executive Vice President Jerry Steward.
He said e-cigarettes were included in the list of banned products made by the Tobacco Free Advisory Committee, a group put together after the decision was made to make OCCC a tobacco-free campus.
“The Tobacco Free Campus Advisory Committee determined from evidence presented that e-cigarettes contain harmful substances and that may affect the health of the user and those in the vicinity of the user,” Steward said.
According to www.thesafecig.com, e-cigarettes are “a safer smoking alternative. They deliver an optional ‘hit’ of nicotine, but contain no tar, tobacco, toxins, or open flame.”
Users inhale doses of nicotine through a vaporized solution, that dissipates almost immediately. Consequently, e-cigarettes are being allowed in many areas where smoking is banned because they produce vapor instead of smoke.
But it’s likely e-cigarettes will be banned everywhere on campus, Steward said.
Steward said the decisions regarding what products will be included when the campus goes tobacco free have been made fairly.
He said the Tobacco Free Campus Advisory Committee is made up of people from all over campus, including smokers and non-smokers.
After the Tobacco Free Advisory Committee develops a proposed policy they all agree with, they will present it to the Institutional Policy Review Committee to be revised and polished, he said.
Then the Institutional Policy Review Committee will provide its recommendations to the President’s Cabinet for final judgment.
Steward said the Institutional Policy Review Committee is in place to review potential policies and procedures before they are presented to the President’s Cabinet for consideration, according to the Institutional Committee list found online at www.occc.edu/InstitutionalCommittees/Institutional-Committee-List.pdf.
OCCC’s Safety and Security department will be responsible for enforcing the policy if it’s approved.
“Fines may be assessed for repeated violations,” Steward said.