The Texas A&M System is instituting a broad ban on vaping.
Chancellor John Sharp released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:
"We, as a society, are facing a serious health risk that we are just beginning to understand.
Vaping and the use of electronic cigarettes have been associated with serious illness and deadly lung disease. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that it is aware of more than 800 cases of lung injury and 12 deaths in the U.S. All of the cases have one element in common: a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
I do not want to take any unnecessary chances with the health of our students, faculty, and staff. To that end, I am directing the presidents of each of the 11 universities and the directors of the eight state agencies within The Texas A&M University System to ban the use of e-cigarettes and vaping as soon as possible.
Smoking is banned in most places in the System already. But the ban on vaping is to be mandatory and expanded to every inch of The Texas A&M System.
This health threat is serious enough that I want to see the ban include every building, outside space, parking lot, garage, and laboratory within the Texas A&M System. The ban also should extend to every facility of our $950 million research enterprise and all System properties in the 250 Texas counties in which the Texas A&M System has a presence.
Further, I think it would be appropriate and responsible to stop selling any e-cigarette products or vaping paraphernalia, if there are any points of sale at any place within our vast System.
I would like to see the ban in place today, but I understand the practicalities of running major institutions. So I will ask that the bans be implemented as soon as is practical.
Thank you to President Michael K. Young at the flagship campus for the inspiration for this important ban, and please know that your actions could be saving the lives of those within The Texas A&M System family."