Ohio University

E-cigarette and Vaping Overview

In an effort to help preserve the well-being of the Ohio University community, the content of this site provides answers to frequently asked questions about the use of e-cigarettes (vaping) and the University's response to it.

What are the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking an outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping, with more than 1,600 cases reported as of October 2019. This includes cases from 49 states, and includes 34 deaths as of the middle of October 2019. In Ohio, 21 cases of severe pulmonary illness had been reported from 13 counties. Check back with the CDC link above for further updates.

National and state findings suggest that products containing THC (the psychoactive mind-altering compound of marijuana), particularly those obtained off the street, are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak, the CDC reports.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a public health advisory stating that there was a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school students between 2017 and 2018, and a 48% increase among middle-school students.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the addictive product found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, which can harm the developing brain, which continues to develop until about age 25. Nicotine use can lead to increased risk for future addiction to other drugs. E-cigarettes can be used to deliver other drugs.

Until the precise cause or causes of the outbreak are verified, the CDC and Surgeon General recommend that people, particularly youth and young adults, avoid the use of all e-cigarette and vaping products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also warned the public to stop using THC-containing vaping products, as well as any vaping products obtained off the street.

How prevalent is vaping among Ohio University students?

A survey conducted in Spring 2019 indicated that 24.3 percent of students reported using JUULs or other e-cigarettes for vaping.

What is Ohio University’s stance on the use of e-cigarettes or vaping?

The use of e-cigarettes is banned on Ohio University’s campuses as part of the Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. While the University does not require anyone to stop using tobacco products away from campus, the University strongly encourages students, faculty, staff and visitors to avoid the use of potentially harmful e-cigarettes in light of the current outbreak.

What is expected of students, faculty and staff?

It is the responsibility of students, faculty and staff to comply with the University policy. People are encouraged to emphasize the wellness aspects of the policy and share information on assistance with the policy or with quitting the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.