OSU to table e-cigarette ban, tobacco-use policy update until at least December after agenda miscue
4:39 PM, Oct 24, 2013
4:52 PM, Oct 24, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State officials announced Thursday it would not be presenting to its board of regents this week an agenda item requesting the banning of e-cigarettes on campus after apparent improper procedures.
University officials stated only two days earlier plans to strengthen the school's tobacco policy, which would eliminate the use of hookahs, vapor cigarettes and clove cigarettes as well as the e-devices at OSU-Tulsa, the OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU's main campus in Stillwater.
Gary Shutt, an OSU spokesman, addressed the removal of e-cigarettes, which have seen a tremendous growth in popularity in recent years, Tuesday.
"OSU is proposing to update its tobacco-use policy due to the unknown impact of secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes," he said. "The change follows the recommendation of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and is consistent with Oklahoma State University's ongoing efforts to be a healthier campus."
A letter from Terry Cline, Oklahoma's health and human services secretary, to OSU president Burns Hargis also highlighted the unknown effects of e-smoking.
"Research on e-cigarettes is new and evolving, and it may be some time before we know the total health effects..." read an excerpt of the letter.
But because the policy change did not follow the proper process constraints, the issue will not be raised until at least December.