Following the Duluth City Council’s footsteps to stop the use of e-cigarettes where normal cigarettes are banned, UMD has made the decision to ban e-cigarette use on its campus, too. The chancellor’s cabinet has decided to ban the usage of e-cigarettes across the entire campus until the end of the school year. The cabinet will then consider whether or not the ban will remain permanent.
According to Vice Chancellor for Student Life Lisa Erwin, the cabinet’s decision to ban the product focused on several factors.
The first reason was Duluth City Council’s recent ban of the use of e-cigarettes everywhere that tobacco cigarettes are banned. The ordinance was passed by the city council last September.
Since UMD is considered its own municipality, the ordinance does not cover the UMD campus, but the university decided to go along with the trend.
The cabinet also looked at the recent action taken by the Hermantown City Council, which placed a six-month ban on the indoor use of e-cigarettes.
The administration had received inquiries from a number of members of the campus community about whether e-cigarettes are prohibited under the current no-smoking policy.
The university is treating e-cigarettes the same as they do regular cigarettes and plans on enforcing the temporary rule the same way.
“Violations of the no-smoking policy are treated the same whether they occur indoors or outdoors,” Erwin said. “Using an e-cigarette would be the same as using a cigarette while this temporary ban is in force.”
Since the ban is currently just temporary, the UMD administration plans on making more concrete decisions down the road.
“Last spring I asked (Mike) Seymour, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations, and Erwin to charge a group of faculty, staff and students to provide recommendations on enhancing and improving compliance with the current smoking policy,” Chancellor Lendley Black wrote in an email to the student body. “I have asked this task force to study the issue of e-cigarette use as well.”
BY GRAHAM HAKALA