E-cigarettes are a battery-powered alternative for smokers that contain varying amounts of nicotine, aerosol and flavorings.
The smoking policy at UNC states that smoking is not allowed inside or within 100 feet of any University facility, inside state-owned vehicles and within 50 feet of Kenan Woods.
And at the moment, e-cigarettes offer a loophole.
“While the UNC no-smoking policy doesn’t specifically mention electronic cigarettes, we consider them inconsistent with the goals of our policy, and when asked, we discourage their use in our no-smoking areas,” said Mary Beth Koza , director of UNC’s Department of Environment, Health and Safety.
According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, more and more young people are picking up the electronic alternative. The University is in the process of making a decision on how to regulate these devices.
“Building managers separately have the ability to put in place reasonable rules related to those buildings or facilities. For example, Bubba Cunningham has said no (e-cigarettes) at sporting events,” she said.
Koza said other areas where e-cigarettes are discouraged include libraries, lab buildings, residence halls and instructional facilities.
Several UNC students reported using a combination of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes. They said that e-cigarettes are beneficial because they neither include carcinogens and other toxic chemicals nor give off a strong smell.