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Texas A&M bans vaping on 'every inch' of the college's campuses

Chancellor calls vaping a 'serious health risk'

BEAUMONT, Texas — Texas A&M is now vape-free. 

Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp has instituted a statewide vaping ban on all campuses and agencies. 

"This health threat is serious enough that I want to see the ban include every building, outside space, parking lot, garage and laboratory within the Texas A&M System," Chancellor John Sharp said in a memo to presidents and agency directors within the Texas A&M University System. 

The move comes as the number of illnesses tied to vaping spikes in Texas and other parts of the country -- especially among teens and young adults. 

Nearly a thousand people nationwide have reported vaping-related lung injuries, according to health officials. There have now been 15 reported deaths directly tied to vaping. 

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“Smoking is banned in most places in the System already,” Sharp said in his memo. “But the ban on vaping is to be mandatory and expanded to every inch of the Texas A&M System.”

While the specific cause of the the lung injuries is unknown, health officials are zeroing in on patients with a history of using products containing THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis. 

“The outbreak currently is pointing to a greater concern around THC-containing products,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said Friday. “However, we do not know whether the only risky substance for lung injury is the THC-containing products.” 

On Monday, San Antonio grocer HEB announced they will stop selling e-cigarettes. 

"We share the concern of many Texas parents that the risks are too unknown at this time and we share the general public health concern in these products,” HEB spokeswoman Dya Campos said.