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E-cigarettes banned indoors on University of Copenhagen campus

Bad news for everyone who hoped to escape having to smoke outside in bad weather by switching to e-cigarettes: UCPH's General Collaboration Committee has just voted, unanimously, to ban indoor e-cigarette smoking

“It might have caused an uproar, had we banned it 15 years ago, but it seems as if people have accepted that it’s the norm for all forms of smoking not to be allowed,” says Ingrid Kryhlmand, deputy head of the General Collaboration Committee (HSU).

The ban, voted for by the HSU on 9 April, is health-motivated: “When it is isn’t 100% clear what the substances in e-cigarettes do, I can’t see why I or anyone else should be subjected to them,” says Kryhlmand.

According to Ingrid Skovmose, section head of Work Environment & Teamwork (AMOS), it’s true that the long-term health implications of e-cigarette use are still uncertain.

Making rules clear

This means that the Danish Ministry of Health recommends not smoking e-cigarettes – both with and without nicotine, and as an added precaution, not to do it indoors.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommends treating e-cigarettes like real cigarettes in connection to rules and laws on smoke-free environments.

Ingrid Skovsmose adds that it’s been necessary to make a set of rules regarding e-cigarettes, as the Work Environment section has received several queries on the matter.

Smoking in a free country

“Some people have been smoking e-cigarettes indoors and others have asked us what they should do about it, and whether they could ban it,” she says

There are no plans to send smokers off the university grounds entirely, as has happened at other workplaces:

“Personally, I think it’s inconsiderate if smokers lump together in entrances and exits, but we also have to be careful not to be too restrictive. We live in a free country, after all,” says HSU deputy Ingrid Kryhlmand.

clba@adm.ku.dk / universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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