Auraria bans the use of electronic cigarettes


Posted Tue, Mar 18, 2014

Vuse, a brand of e-cigarette, on sale at a gas station.

Vuse, a brand of e-cigarette now banned on the Auraria Campus. [Photo by Antonio Valenzuela]

DENVER, Auraria Campus — Auraria officials banned the use of electronic cigarettes indoors on Feb. 26, making e-cigs and vaporizers illegal in or within 25-feet of any building on campus.

This move was prompted by complaints of students smoking marijuana concentrates in the e-cigarettes during school, because the vaporizers make it odor and smokeless. However, the Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) in conjunction with all three schools made the move because although marijuana is legal in Denver, Auraria is still federally funded.

The new policy cites the Colorado Clean Indoor Act, the Drug Free Workplace act of 1988 along with several other piece of legislation as justification of the new standards.

Auraria is not the only place that e-cigs are under duress, the American Lung Association (ALA) recently released a statement about the supposedly safe alternative to smoking:

They are nicotine delivery devices intended to be used like a cigarette. What happens to someone who stops inhaling the tars of cigarettes and inhales only nicotine? We don’t know. There is at least the potential for harm,” said Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the ALA.

However some student’s only see the current measure as another way for Auraria to make money.

“It doesn’t matter what students do, they (Auraria) will always find a way to make money off of it,” said Peter Jacobs of the University of Colorado at Denver.

Although the measure adopted Feb. 26 doesn’t call for any specific tickets or fines, it does state: “Students will be referred to the appropriate student conduct office.”

Gene Townsend, 60, of Lakewood sees it as a negative move. “If it’s not hurting anyone, why should it be illegal? It just seems a little prejudice to me.”

Other students feel like it protects the integrity of classrooms. “Why should students who come to learn be bothered by other people’s habits?” said Jennifer Snyder, 24, student at Metro State. “It’s OK to have any habits you like, outside of school. I think it’s a good thing for everyone that they are banned.”

Despite opinions the ban is currently in effect.

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About Antonio Valenzuela

Antonio Valenzuela is a Denver-Area Freelance Writer who has been published hundreds of times with Westword, Kush Magazine, The Met, and many more. As a Denver area personality Ontoneyo has had a radio show on 93.7 and several online radio stations, been part of over 300 shows and is a fixture in the music community.

View all posts by Antonio Valenzuela

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