West Texas A&M students, faculty weigh in on new vaping ban
CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas A&M University system’s vaping ban includes the use of all types of vapes and e-cigarettes, both inside and outside while on campus property.
The University System Chancellor said its for the health and safety of all students and faculty, and one West Texas A&M doctor agrees.
Chancellor John Sharp states the vape ban for all schools under the Texas A&M System is due to the 'serious illness and deadly lung disease' that's been associated with vaping.
WT Campus physician Dr. James Gibbs said he hasn’t seen patients at WT come in with life-threatening cases, but some have had breathing issues.
“We do see a frequent number of people that come in with allergic-type symptoms and bronchitis-type symptoms,” said Dr. Gibbs.
And most of these patients used vapes or e-cigarettes.
“I do think that that significantly increases the chances of developing bronchitis, it’s irritating the bronchial tubes,” said Gibbs. “And those chemicals have been shown to be irritating to the bronchial tubes and anything that irritates the bronchial tubes would make a person more susceptible to catching infections, or having episodes of, you know, trouble breathing, allergies, asthma, things like that.”
Sharp also states he ‘does not want to take any unnecessary chances with the health of students, faculty and staff.’
“Especially on a college campus, it’s probably about trying to maintain the safety of both the student that chooses to use the vaping devices, but also people around them,” said Gibbs.
I spoke with some WT students that have actually been inconvenienced by their fellow classmates who vape.
“It’s everywhere really, I’ve seen it in class, on-campus, and then even in the main heart of campus, even in a bathroom. Just really everywhere on campus, even in dorms as well,” said WT student Violette Kragh.
“If you vape in the dorms, it’ll set off smoke alarms, and then, you know, it’s kind of an inconvenience for everyone inside the dorms,” said WT student Colby Wood. “Because you have to get out of the dorms and go however far away, stop whatever you’re doing. You have to leave by a certain time or you get fined. So it’ll kind of be nice to not have to worry about that causing smoke alarm issues anymore.”
Students are also unsure of how the use of vaping products will actually be policed since it’s already so frequent.
"Since there already is a smoking ban within 50 feet of buildings, vaping, I think it can be treated the same way since it does cause health issues as we’ve seen,” said Wood.
Chancellor Sharp is asking the ban be put in place as soon as possible, but also at a practical time for each university.
West Texas A&M administration was unavailable for comment.
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