IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — After taking a stand as the only University of California campus to allow electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco, UC Irvine has reversed its decision under pressure from UC officials.
A UC-wide ban on smoking went into effect on Jan. 1, but UC Irvine was the only campus to exempt vapor cigarettes and chewing tobacco. But now the campus’ chancellor says e-cigs are back on the banned list.
Public Health professor David Timberlake believes the reversal was a political decision.
“It’s not so much that I’m upset with the decision, it’s just maybe how the decision was brought out,” Timberlake said. “I wish that we had had another meeting or two to go through and to perhaps even take a vote.”
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that allow users to inhale nicotine-laced liquid as vapor.
There is ongoing debate as to whether e-cigarettes are a gateway to tobacco smoking by young people, or if they help with cessation, Timberlake said.