As if campuses outlawing tobacco didn’t have enough problems with these rules, the popularity of vaping has further complicated matters. As of 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and United States Food and Drug Administration advised that 3.6 million high and middle school students use electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). That’s a significant increase from the 2 million users reported in 2017. After the students leave for the summer is the perfect time for administrators to address the vaping problem.
Combating the Vape Problem
As of October 2018, many universities have become smoke-free campuses, and most of those have policies that ban e-cigarettes on campus. Many colleges that banned vaping did so because e-cigarettes still contain tobacco and other harmful chemicals.
There are still many educational institutions that haven’t addressed vaping, and this may become a huge issue for those schools. Your campus may be smoke-free, but if you haven’t included new language in the policy that explicitly prohibits vaping, you won’t be able to enforce it.
Problems with Enforcement and Monitoring
Many colleges aren’t necessarily focused on monitoring the whole campus because they know that would be next to impossible to do. They have left enforcement and monitoring measures as undecided until there is further discussion.
Many campuses focus on monitoring problem areas and installing signs around campus to emphasize smoking cessation. Places such as West Virginia University have discussed whether they want to create a website where people on campus could report violations of these policies or empower a specific entity to monitor and patrol the campus.
Luckily, technology advancements are bringing new solutions to help universities decide on a mechanism of enforcement. IP Video launched a new product called the HALO IoT Smart Sensor that alerts campus law enforcement or security when it detects environmental changes caused by smoking and vaping. It’s likely that more products similar to the HALO will become available over time.
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