It is not uncommon to see a student casually vaping on campus. Whether you catch someone taking a hit on the quad or see a puff of white fog float out of a hoodie sleeve in the library, the act has been normalized.
But that needs to change.
Earlier this week, several states banned flavored electronic cigarettes and the sales of flavored e-cigarette products.
According to Jessica Higgs, director of Health Services, Bradley “fully backs” this temporary ban because there seems to be a misconception about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. Higgs recommends students refrain from vaping until more information is available.
The health problems caused by cigarette smoking are well-known and now the issues with vaping are being brought to light. The results of both are not far off: they can be fatal. Given this, we believe Bradley students should become more educated about the potential dangers of e-cigarettes.
While Bradley HEAT now mentions vaping in its orientation presentations, we believe a greater effort should be made to emphasize its adverse effects. Likewise, the university should take a serious look into policy changes and updates to building regulations.
Under Illinois law, smoking cigarettes is prohibited inside of buildings or anywhere within 15 feet of air intakes of a building. However, vaping and e-cigarettes fall under a gray area where only limited regulations would apply.
Under the housing Bill of Rights, Bradley prohibits any e-cigarette usage in all residential halls. However, other Bradley facilities and academic buildings, including the library, have been left unregulated.
If this trend is as serious as it is periceived to be, then we would advise Bradley to take precautions to encourage students to avoid the harmful habit in the same fashion of their warnings against binge drinking and drug use. If they intend to help spread accurate information to students about the dangers of different aspects of college culture, they need to cover the whole spectrum.
Bradley should think ahead in regards to handling predicaments like these.