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E-cigarette ban at University System of Georgia seen as PR move, not public health

Though the University System of Georgia board of regents won’t say why it included e-cigarettes in its month-old ban of all forms of smoking – even those without “smoke” – students tell The Red & Black they don’t think it has to do with the public-health effects of vaping itself.

A manager at The Arch Conservative, an opinion journal at the University of Georgia that organized a smokers’ protest on the eve of the ban, said this:

“Some reasons they might be banned are consistency across the board, if they are banning all types of tobacco and tobacco substitutes, a belief that they are harmful to students or belief that they encourage cigarette use,” he said.

Another student said it’s about the “image”:

Clay Preusse, a mechanical engineering major from Roswell, has been smoking e-cigarettes for about four months now.

“I can see why they did it; they wanted to ban the image of smoking, which definitely includes e-cigarettes, so that’s understandable,” he said. “But I don’t think they needed to ban them. I feel it was just to make a statement that they were trying to make a change.”

One student doesn’t seem to realize there’s no tobacco in e-cigs:

“I’m glad UGA banned e-cigarettes from campus because, although they are supposed to be the ‘healthy’ alternative, there is nothing healthy about tobacco in general,” she said.


Read The Red & Black story.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

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