COLLEGE STATION, Texas — UPDATE:
Starting January 1st, 2020, all campuses a part of the Texas A&M System are now tobacco-free. The ban includes all tobacco items such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco. This comes after the A&M System banned vaping devices on all its campuses on October 1st, 2019.
Texas A&M is looking to ban vaping and e-cigarettes on all of its campuses and state agencies.
Chancellor John Sharp released information on the ban today, asking for the system's 11 universities and eight state agencies to implement the ban as soon as possible.
He is also issuing a ban on all sales of vaping and e-cigarette products. However, there is no set deadline for when the ban will be fully implemented.
"It's hard to know across campus. We have been talking about this…I met with Professor Young to discuss this and he really was like this is the time to make it happen… so this came from our campus, so I think we're kind of moving faster,” said Texas A&M University Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Jay Maddock.
Dr. Maddock thinks the ban will be enforced by the end of the year across all campuses. This ban also expands on policies against vaping already in place in the system.
"Actually, about two years ago, we added vaping to our smoking ban...which means indoor places you cannot vape. What the chancellor is now asking is anywhere on any property is going to change...even if you're walking across the quad or somewhere near Kyle field, you will not be able to vape. I think that's a positive move on policy."
The CDC states more than a dozen people have died and more than 800 people have become sick with a vaping-related lung disease.
"It's what the CDC is trying to find out…what is leading to these illnesses. What's interesting is on September 1st, the entire state of Texas changed the law to 21…It is illegal for the majority of our students to smoke anyways."
There are no set penalties for breaking the ban yet and Dr. Maddock says this is the first of discussions to come regarding student vaping.