Texas A&M University-Commerce announced in a press release Tuesday that the campus will ban the use of all tobacco and 'vaping' products on university property starting in 2020.
In October of this year, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp called for a ban on e-cigarettes, also known as "vapes," across all system campuses. Sharp said in his directive that campuses should implement the ban "as soon as possible."
At the time, A&M-Commerce President Dr. Mark Rudin said the university would "honor the directive from the chancellor and begin putting together a strategy to adhere to the new ban."
On Tuesday, A&M-Commerce issued a statement that featured an email sent from Rudin to the university community declaring that at the turn of the new year it won't just be vape products that will get the boot, but all tobacco products as well.
Rudin's email says that the university was encouraged by the Chancellor to align its tobacco policy with the ban.
"University administration consulted several on-campus groups, including the Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, Staff Council, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Residential Living and Learning, Safety, Athletics, and Administrative Council," the email read. "After in-depth discussions among its members, each group reported back in favor of making the A&M-Commerce campus tobacco free."
Beginning on Jan. 1, A&M-Commerce will become "smoke-, vape-, and tobacco-free," and the ban will be in affect on all university property. The decision was made "in the interest of the health and wellness of the entire community," according to Rudin's email.
The president acknowledged the challenges this may cause.
“We realize that this will not be an easy transition for everyone,” Rudin said. “But we ask for your support for this decision.”
The new policy can be viewed at www.tamuc.edu/tobaccoandvapingpolicy/