Since 2014, Eastern Kentucky University has been a tobacco and vape free campus since 2014. However, vape clouds continue to pop-up around campus despite these policies.
According to the EKU Tobacco Free policy passed in 2014, “If someone is seen vaping on campus, that person can be asked to leave the school or could get a $25 fine for breaking the tobacco free campus rule.”
EKU remained open to vaping and smoking until 2013, with designated areas set aside for smoking.
“There was a committee made in 2013 called tobacco free committee and vape free committee,” said Bryan Makinen; executive director of public safety and risk management. “The school has the students, faculty and staff support to help this movement.”
“We want students that go to school to follow the rules and we don’t want to write the ticket, but if we need to, we will,” Makinen said.
Makinen said that EKU imposes a $25 fine for individuals caught vaping on campus, but most of the time the students get an initial warning. Some students, however, are willing to pay the fine if they get caught.
Freshman Dakota Hall, undeclared and a Chicago native, said, “I would pay the fines but I would still vape, but I would be respectful about it.”
Makinen describes the most common response he receives from students who breach the vape-free policy as, “It’s my right, I can do whatever I want to my body.”
Research from the Food and Drug Administration shows that vaping does not help people quit smoking and actually shows that individuals who start vaping or use e cigarettes to stop smoking traditional ones are more likely to use both.
“I think it’s stupid. It’s supposed to be for people that are addicted to cigarettes and other stuff,” said, Luke Kodak, a freshman homeland security major from Silver Spring, Maryland.
Describing his reason for vaping, Hall said, “I vape to relieve stress. College is a very stressful place, and vaping helps me relieve that stress.”
Truth Initiative, the largest nonprofit organization to combat smoking, published a study in 2018 where a sample of over 13,000+ individuals within the ages of 15 to 34 was asked if they used JUUL.
According to Truth Initiative, “The data shows that 11.2 percent of the 18- to 21-year-olds reported ever using JUUL.”
Concerning reports of lung damage in vape users, the CDC posted on their website, “As of November 13, 2019, 2,172 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC.”
According to the CDC, “Forty-two deaths in 24 states,” have occurred due to vaping.