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No exception made for e-cigarettes on campus

By KISTEN S. CHETTY
On September 25, 2013

  • Penalties for smoking. Richland Chronicle

Note to smokers: e-cigarettes are treated the same as cigarettes at Richland College.
Over this summer a new issue was brought to the attention of ThunderTeam, the senior leadership team at Richland.
Students were puffing on e-cigarettes in hallways and some even in classrooms. After numerous complaints, the ThunderTeam started researching them.
Students argued that the e-cigarettes were "emission free" so they thought those wouldn't count.
The final ruling is that e-cigarettes will be treated as if they are normal cigarettes. This has been added to the operational memorandum at Richland regarding policy.
"Richland College is a smoke-free/tobacco-free/e-cigarette-free campus. In addition, the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products on campus is prohibited." Surprisingly, this rule change has been in place since July, but many students are still oblivious.
Janet James, dean/executive assistant to the president and member of ThunderTeam, said that students wishing to smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes "can make use of the four designated smoking zones." These zones are outside Pecos, Wichita, Verde and Del Rio halls.
Some of the reasoning behind the new rule is what the ThunderTeam found in its research. The FDA released an advisory warning against e-cigarettes. The first line states that "electronic cigarettes are not emission-free." The advisory note also goes on to say that "if several people are using e-cigarettes in a room at the same time, considerable indoor air pollution will accumulate and may result in harmful second-hand exposure." The full notice can be viewed at www.fda.gov.ph/advisories/food/80233-fda-advisory-no-2013-015.
Students should be reminded of the fines associated with smoking outside the designated areas. The police department will issue citations throughout the year. The 12-month period regarding citations begins on Aug. 1 and ends on July 31 of each calendar year. A person's citation count will be cleared if they have paid their previous citations by the start of the new year. After a student's second unpaid citation, a block is placed on their transcript notifying the advisers.


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