WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said more than a thousand Americans have now become sick or died because of illnesses linked to vaping, most of them under the age of 35-years-old.
This called for Texas A&M systems to ban vaping, but in Wichita Falls, Midwestern State University already has a tobacco and e-cigarette ban in place.
University officials are working on something geared toward vaping.
MSU’s medical director Keith Williamson said they are hoping to educate students on the effects of vaping but also discourage use.
As the number of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths continues to rise nationwide, MSU officials are promoting healthy lifestyles on campus.
“I have to brag on Midwestern State University as we are the first four-year higher education institution in Texas to have a smoke-free campus,” Williamson said.
“I applaud them, there always has to be the first people or first group to do it, and it’s awesome that MSU was one of those,” criminal justice senior Isabella Crone said.
MSU’s policy prohibits the use of tobacco products, smoke and smokeless, the advertising, sale, free distribution and even discarding of tobacco products in all indoor and outdoor facilities including university vehicles.
The policy also states in part, appropriate disciplinary action may be applied to the violator, however, the policy does not detail what the consequences of violators will be.
“Brains younger than 25 are exceptionally susceptible to addiction and we are as part of our overall policy of developing healthy smart Americans, going to minimize their exposure to addictive substances,” Williamson said.
Williamson said while it is reported that vaping is safe for consumption, there is no way to verify they are safe in your lungs.
“It’s an aerosol with many compounds in it some of which are identifiably harmful, carcinogenic and some of which are not, but they are considered safe as in food safety,” Williamson said.
“I’m not a big fan of smoking in general, so I don’t think vaping is something that should be done around the general public especially in schools,” nursing student Jonsheenia Albert said.
“Everyone thought smoking was fine and then low and behold it wasn’t and it’s the same thing with vaping so watch out don’t be a guinea pig,” Crone said.
These two students hope their peers will educate themselves on the dangers of vaping, while university officials continue efforts to keep students safe.