TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - A major change at Texas A&M University at Texarkana is in effect.
On Wednesday, the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System directed the presidents of each of the 11 universities and eight state agencies within the system to ban the use of e-cigarettes and vaping on all properties as soon as possible.
"I think the announcement was made primarily out of concern for the health an well being of students throughout all the system," said John Bunch, the public information officer for Texas A&M at Texarkana.
The ban is in effect for both students and faculty. Bunch said there are students on campus who vape; but, the practice is not a major problem. The university will allow a short grace period before police will start issuing tickets to those in violation.
Lindsay Evans is the manager of Vaporifics in Texarkana. She says that many of her customers are students and staff at Texas A&M at Texarkana.
“People should be able to do what they want to do when they are an adult within reason,” Evans said. “And that’s what I’m not understanding with the banning of these devices.”
The Texarkana campus is taking the vaping and e-cigarette ban a step further. The campus has assigned smoking areas on campus. However, at the start of January 2020, the university will become a tobacco-free campus.
"I'm a stress smoker, and there is a lot of stress involved in school," said Myron Star.
Star is one of the 2,000 students at Texarkana A&M at Texarkana. He says he understands why the university is becoming a smoke-free campus — but he does not agree with the decision.
University leaders say that they are hoping both students and staff will make the necessary changes before the tobacco-free policy goes into effect in January.
“Obviously it’s some adjustments that people are going to have to make and it’s not going to be easy,” Bunch said.