Texas A&M University prepares to ban all tobacco use on campus

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COLLEGE STATION, Tx. (KBTX) -- Starting in January, Texas A&M University will become 100% tobacco-free.

On October 1, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp announced a vaping ban following reports across the country of serious illnesses related to e-cigarettes use.

University officials say they’ve been working on the tobacco-free change for months. In June, A&M applied for and received a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society.

Chief Wellness Officer Jay Maddock says the funds will help provide signage for those who may not be familiar with the changes made, and for resources to help those struggling with nicotine addiction.

"We're going to be working to let people know if you're smoking or vaping now, and you'd like to quit, here are some great resources to help you,” said Maddock.

Maddock says the purpose of the ban is to promote a healthier lifestyle for students and faculty.

“This is not meant to be a way to punish anybody. We're not really trying to go after addictive people. Really this is if you see somebody smoking on campus after the ban goes in, just gently remind them of the policy and that it's not allowed. It's more about education than about enforcement,” said Maddock.

As the rules stand now, tobacco smoking is prohibited in all buildings and smokers must be at least 100 feet away from any building or window while smoking.

The new rule will ban smoking including smokeless tobacco.

"This has become the norm across university and workplaces to expect this,” said Maddock.