TUSD board votes to revise tobacco use policy - Tucson News Now

TUSD board votes to ban e-cigarettes

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A debate over the use of electronic cigarettes continues tonight. Should they be allowed on school campuses or not? It's an item up for discussion at the TUSD school board meeting tonight.

TUSD board members had a healthy discussion about the use of e-cigarettes before voting on it.

Current school board policy says no tobacco use allowed on campus.

The board has just voted 3-2 in favor of revising that policy. This means no e-cigarettes allowed on campus either.

The board was divided on the issue. Dr. Mark Stegeman and Michael Hicks felt e-cigarettes are therapeutic and help students stay away from smoking. They felt it should be okay for students to use e-cigarettes on campus. You do have to be 18 or older to buy these devices.

The rest of the board felt use of e-cigarettes is inappropriate on campus and educational institutions are not an appropriate place to use thse devices.

"I think  e-cigs are over the counter drug. They have a legitimate therapeutic purpose," Stegeman said. "I don't personally see why we should single that out for prohibition, especially if its used outdoors or in a designated area for that use."

"I don't want to create smoking areas on our high school campuses," said TUSD school board member Adelita Grijalva. "I'm not comfortable with that."

It's not just TUSD, board members say. Many states and college campuses are updating their smoking policies by adding e-cigarettes to the list.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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