TUSD or Tucson Unified School District in Arizona is considering electronic cigarette ban that will prohibit staff, students and the general public from using the device on the school grounds. This ban will be added to the currently implemented smoke-free policies in TUSD campuses.
Moving On With Time
TUSD said that the inclusion of electronic cigarette ban in the present policies followed in the campuses regarding the use and possession of tobacco cigarettes and products will serve as its means to get on with the time or to adapt to the requirements of modern times.
The devices have been receiving a constant surge of popularity ever since they were introduced in the market. A majority of users regard them as healthier option to smoking. They have the capability to deliver nicotine, but not the other harmful components of tobacco. There are also instances where electronic cigarettes are cheaper than real cigarettes; thus making the products more popular than ever.
Most products contain nicotine, but there are also those that have no nicotine and at such, they can be sold to or accessed by children.
Problem For Officials
What TUSD officials are worried about is that there are models of electronic cigarettes that closely resemble the appearance of electronic cigarettes. Unless they really go near the person using it, officials would not easily know whether that person is smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine. Moreover, there is really no distinction in terms of appearance if the minor is vaping nicotine-laced e-liquid or nicotine-free e-liquid. It is also another matter of concern whether vaping can start the habit of smoking cigarettes or not.
Arizona Smokers Helpline director Stephen Michael stated that the products and the trend are still too new so it is hard to tell if vaping can actually lead to smoking. Nonetheless, if children are already picking the devices up and inhaling nicotine vapor, it would not be too hard to switch to real cigarettes. Instinctively, this reasoning makes sense, although there is no research to back the claim.
Safety is also another concern that justifies that electronic cigarette ban. Right now, it is still not clear if electronic cigarettes are safe or not. Each brand may differ in terms on the nicotine levels offered. Another safety issue about the actual contents of the vapors created when the e-liquid is heated. Arizona Smokers Helpline has no recommendations on using the devices as smoking cessation technique or aids.
Michaels also added that there could be less poisons or harm from electronic cigarettes, but they can still be addictive. The smoker basically goes through the same emotional hurdles so it can be quite easy to revert to smoking.
Other Entities Considering Electronic Cigarette Ban
This doubtful look of TUSD at electronic cigarettes is not unique. Other government entities have already imposed bans. Even airlines, trains and others have also prohibited them.
Beginning August 1, Arizona State University will also be implementing smoke-free policies that will also include electronic cigarette ban. Tucson city is prohibiting smoking tobacco products on the city property, but it has not yet issued an ordinance or policy restricting electronic cigarette use. Conversely, the board of supervisors in Pima County has agreed that starting November, no one will be allowed to smoke tobacco in all county properties; as well as chewing tobacco, using smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and water pipes. The policy is said to be presented on Tuesday before the governing board.