February 20, 2014

Vanderbilt adds e-cigarettes and vaporizers to smoking policy

Vanderbilt continues its commitment to a smoke-free campus by including e-cigarettes in its smoking policy.


As a premier educator, research enterprise and health care provider, Vanderbilt recognizes the effects and costs of smoking, tobacco and nicotine use on our society. As a result, the institution has amended its smoking policy to include e-cigarettes and vaporizers on the list of items that may be used only in outdoor designated areas.

“Vanderbilt is a smoke-free campus, and we are committed to promoting a healthy environment for our faculty, staff and visitors without the hazards associated with these products, including e-cigarettes,” said Dr. Ron Eavey, executive medical director for the Vanderbilt Employee Health Plan. “A number of cities and towns and other universities have banned these devices.”

“E-cigarettes are just another way of delivering nicotine from the lungs to the brain,” said Dr. Melanie Swift, director of the Occupational Health Clinic at Vanderbilt. “That route is a highly addictive route. [lquote]They may seem like a way to quit smoking, but e-cigarettes are not effective in quitting, and we don’t understand all the potential health hazards yet.”[/lquote]

Swift added that the e-cigarettes and vaporizers are not regulated by the FDA. “They may contain harmful chemicals, and the amount of nicotine they contain is not regulated,” Swift said. Nicotine is harmful to the cardiovascular system because it narrows arteries, which drives up blood pressure and causes hardening of the arteries over time.

View a map of designated smoking areas here. The complete smoking policy is posted on the HR website.

If you have questions regarding the revised policy, please talk with your manager or your HR consultant. For general questions, please contact the Employee Service Center at (615) 343-7000, human.resources@vanderbilt.edu or in person at HR Express, 2525 West End Ave., from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.