As of Monday, August 1, the use of all forms of tobacco is official off limits for the over 100-acre campus of the University of Tampa. In an effort to maintain a smoke-free environment, school administrators recently enacted a policy prohibiting conventional cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. Unfortunately, these same wonderful educators just happened to sneak in a vaping and e-cig ban into the creatively wording regulation.
For those looking for proof that the United States educational system is almost irretrievably broken, look no farther than the University of Tampa.
The vaping industry is reeling from the May 5 announcement of new FDA deeming regulations that classify all e-cigs and vaping devices as “tobacco products.” Yet anyone that takes the time to research electronic cigarettes quickly learns that this technology is 100% tobacco-free. Except, apparently, for the scholastic team from the University of Tampa.
The Motley Fool: ‘Eggplants and Tobacco’
Yes, e-cigarettes contain a minuscule amount of nicotine compared to tobacco cigarettes, but nicotine is not tobacco. In fact, a recent article published last week by the Motley Fool boldly states, “The FDA can’t distinguish between eggplants and tobacco,” let alone smoking and vaping. As any reputable University Professor in Botany would agree, nicotine is a naturally occurring chemical that can be found in lots of foods, including eggplants, tomatoes, and even potatoes.
Furthermore, “smoke” and “vapor” are also two very different things. As Professor Linda Bauld from the UK’s University of Stirling recently stated during an interview, nicotine in itself isn’t bad. It is “smoked tobacco” that can kill you. And unlike the geniuses at the University of Tampa, Professor Bauld is an internationally renowned expert on public health.
In addition to being a highly regarded professor, she is also the Chairperson of Behavioural Research at Britain’s Cancer Research Institute, Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, and the University of Stirling’s Dean of Research Impact. Looks like the Brits take their educational system far more seriously than the University of Tampa.
University of Tampa: A missed opportunity to educate
While e-cigs and vaping devices emit a white, clouding substance that looks a lot like cigarette smoke infused with thousands of noxious chemicals, in reality those white plumes are made of about 99% water vapor mixed with a little “nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavorings.” Perhaps the esteemed staff at the University of Tampa should visit Wikipedia every once in a while, especially before writing and implementing such nonsensical bylaws meant to promote a “smoke-free” college campus. Water vapor is definitely not smoke.
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By taking away the students’ right to vape, college administrators are actually placing the public health of its entire student body in jeopardy. The vaping industry is currently working very hard to have the FDA deeming regulations revised or overturned so that college students today can successfully avoid the very mistakes that millions of vapers made during their younger years, specifically, lighting up that very first cigarette and forever becoming addicted to tobacco.
When weak-minded college officials fail to do their own research when creating college health policies, or when they blindly follow government-enacted regulations without questioning their true worth or value, these college administrators are further proving that the American educational system is broken. The University of Tampa had a wonderful opportunity to educate and inform its student body on the dangers of illegal government oversight, and it failed miserably.
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