University of Michigan updates policy to ban vaping, smokeless tobacco and more

Posted at 10:34 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 23:23:36-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — On the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor, students are well aware of how common vaping has become, especially among young adults.

“Yeah, quite a bit. I think it’s pretty common for people our age,” U of M sophomore Jada Doerr said.

“You will see some people as soon as they get out of class, they have to go rip their nicotine because they’ve been craving it,” sophomore Jack Buffett added.

Now, the university is banning e-cigarettes like vape pens, along with smokeless tobacco across all campuses. The ban applies to school buildings and campus property, but will not impact tobacco use in personal vehicles or on sidewalks adjacent to public roadways. It's an update to an already existing no smoking policy.

“I think it is pretty prevalent," sophomore Ellen Derrer said of vaping on campus. "But not necessarily abused in classrooms or anything."

“Vaping is really no different (than smoking). You’re putting toxic stuff into your lungs," said Dr. Zane Hammoud, chief of Thoracic Surgery at Ascension Providence Hospital.

Hammoud says like smoking, vaping can lead to inflammation in the short term but could lead to even worse in the long term.

“These particles get entrapped in the lung and after repeated exposure, who knows what affect we’re going to see 10, 15, 20 years down the road,” Hammoud said.

Michigan State University implemented a similar ban back in 2016, hoping to curb tobacco use among students. The question now is how effective will these policies actually be.

“I don't know how much it will actually change on this campus," Buffett said. "I'm sure some people will just be annoyed by it.”

"If it prevents one person from suffering the ill effects of this, it’s worth it,” Hammoud said. "It's such a huge public health problem that as a society, we should not be condoning this stuff.”

The university also has free resources for students to quit nicotine use. The Tobacco Consultation Service offers free tobacco cessation counseling. TCS can be reached at 734-998-6222 or