The Silliman University administration clarified that the use of electronic cigarettes is included in the “No Smoking” policy of the university in an interview with the Weekly Sillimanian.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery System, commonly known as vapes, is a substitute for cigarettes. It is a battery-powered device that imitates the feeling of smoking by turning a liquid mix of substances called “E-liquid” into vapor.
According to a study by the World Health Organization, E-liquids contain less nicotine than ordinary cigarettes.
“[Vapes] are included in the ‘No Smoking’ policy even if it’s not a cigarette, as long as it is [producing] smoke,” said Student Services OIC Dean Edna Gladys Calingacion.
Calingacion added that the Office of the President released a memorandum last 2008 regarding the implementation of the “No Smoking” Policy.
The memo says that starting summer of 2008, enrollees will sign an undertaking to “commit not to smoke in public spaces and facilities in the university, including the publicly-used toilets and rooms, and after having been warned once on a first offense, the university may require [the student] to physically leave the premises and be placed on suspension for the entire day.”
Cynthia (not her real name), a Sillimanian vape user, admitted that she also used vapes inside the campus.
“Daghan man gud nag-vapes diri.Kita ko’g one person, I think kas-a ra to siya kay murag gibuyag siya,” said Cynthia. (“A lot of people use vapes here. I saw one person, but I think he stopped because he got scolded.”)
Calingacion said that the Office of Student Services caught a group of people smoking in front of Oriental Hall. The students were warned that if they will be caught smoking again, they will be given a disciplinary action or suspension.
But Cynthia said that “Dili man na siya [vapes] smoke, vapor man gud na siya. Arguable siya [policy] kay wala gi-specify. Naa japon loophole.” (“Vapes produce vapor, not smoke. The policy is arguable because it didn’t specify. There’s still a loophole.”)
Meanwhile, senior psychology major Mayvelle Ann Luib said that she was shocked when she saw students smoking near Ausejo Hall because she thought they were using cigarettes, but it turned out to be vapes.
“Para sa ako, wala ra man difference sa image sa vapes ug cigarettes,” said Luib. (“For me, there is no difference between the image of vapes and cigarettes.”)
Calingacion said that they cannot really cover the whole campus at the same time, and part of the commitment of the students is to follow university rules.
By Paulynne Joyce R. dela Cruz