Duke faculty urge university officials to ban vaping on campus

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — As the number of vaping related deaths and hospitalizations continue to rise across the country, officials at Duke University are considering a possible vaping ban on campus.

Sven Eric Jordt, an associate professor in anesthesiology, pharmacology and cancer biology for Duke University School Medicine, told CBS 17 he and several other faculty are urging officials to take action immediately and ban vaping on campus. 

“We have a lot of high schoolers that have come to Duke that may have vaped at their high school and become addicted to nicotine,” Jordt said. “If they encounter an environment where no one is doing anything about it, I think this is very concerning.”

Jordt said he is concerned about the impact of nicotine on students and he said it can have very strong effects on brain development.

That’s why he is calling on the university to ban vaping along with the university’s plan to ban combustible tobacco in 2020.

“The CDC and FDA are currently recommending that no young person should vape at all, so we think our institution has to follow these recommendations,” Jordt said.

According to the American Nonsmoker’s Rights Foundation, almost 2,000 college campuses have banned vaping.

North Carolina Central University has a smoke free policy on campus. Campus officials said that means smoking, which includes vaping, is not allowed anywhere on campus.

Both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh allow vaping in some areas outdoors.

Some students at Duke told CBS 17 they are in favor of the vaping ban.

“It’s bad for people’s health, and it’s bad for the environment,” said Maya Yvette Loftin, a sophomore at Duke.

However, other students think just prohibiting it in certain areas of campus is the way to go.

“They do have the right to decide what they should put in their bodies,” said Tatiana Bahulabhai, a nursing student at Duke. “If it’s harmful for them, it should be an option for them to stop using them.”

Officials with Duke University told CBS 17 this ban is still under consideration.

The university’s ban on all tobacco products goes into effect in July 2020.

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