UC Berkeley Campus Bans Electronic Cigarettes, Vaporizers

Popular e-cigarettes, or tobacco vaporizers, not allowed on campus.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Associated Press
    Banned at Berkeley -- and Davis, and Riverside, and wherever else there is a University of California.

    No smoking also means no vaping.

    A blanket smoking ban at University of California campuses includes "electronic cigarettes," the portable vaporizers which emit -- backers claim -- a less-unhealthy plume of vapor upon puffage, according to the Bay Area News Group.

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    It’s advertised as the best way to kick that bad habit of smoking, but critics say it may kick-start a new generation of smokers. Stephanie Chuang reports. (Published Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013)

    Smokers of the popular devices have until Jan. 2 to vape away before the ban goes into effect.

    MORE: Growing Use of Vaporizers Alarms Health Officials

    About 10 percent of UC staffers and 8 percent of UC students smoke tobacco -- no stats are handy on how many folks around the state's campuses use the e-cigarettes. And there's also no stats available on exactly what goes into the e-cigarettes -- which is partially why it was easy for UC to ban them.

    "It's safer to ban these products as a precaution," said Josh Moskowitz, director of the School of Public Health's Center for Family and Community Health, in comments to the newspaper.

    E-cigarettes, or vaporizers, use small batteries to heat a small quantity of liquid, which contains nicotine as well as flavoring, according to the newspaper.

    Perhaps oddly, a co-founder of an electronic cigarette lobby agrees with the ban, saying that it's understandable while people "learn" about what an e-cigarette is -- and what's in them.

    For UC, it was a ban-first, learn-second decision.

    ""The onus is on the medical establishment to prove they are harmful," said Moskowitz in comments to the newspaper. "It's clearly messed up."
     

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