COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KXAN) — As the nationwide concern over vaping-related illnesses continues to grow, Texas A&M University decided to ban e-cigarettes from all its campuses.
On Tuesday, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp released a letter to all presidents and agency directors in the system telling them to ban the use of e-cigarettes as soon as possible.
“This health threat is serious enough that I want to see the ban include every building, outside space, parking lot, garage and laboratory within the Texas A&M System,” Chancellor Sharp wrote. “The ban also should extend to every facility of our $950 million research enterprise and all System properties in the 250 Texas counties in which the Texas A&M System has a presence.”
Sharp also calls for an end to the sale of any e-cigarettes or vaping-related products within the system.
The smoking of tobacco cigarettes is already banned in most parts of the Texas A&M system, but Sharp calls for the e-cigarette ban to be mandatory and total.
Texas A&M isn’t the only Texas institution to make a push against vaping. In September, the supermarket giant H-E-B announced it will no longer sell e-cigarettes in any of its stores.
Last month pro-vape advocates gathered at the Texas Capitol to protest President Trump’s call for a vape ban. The group known as the American Vaping Association says an e-cigarette ban is “draconian” and will drive former smokers back to tobacco. Protestors held signs with the name of the vape flavors they used to help them quit smoking.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 800 cases of lung injury related to vaping and 12 deaths. As of Sept. 12, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 17 confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses in the state.
Sharp thanked Texas A&M President Michael K. Young as the inspiration behind the systemwide ban. He wrote that he would like the ban to start that same day, but instead asked all institutions to implement it as soon as possible.