The BSA has added electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, to its tobacco-use policy, effective immediately.
Boy Scouts of America meetings, functions and activities continue to be smoke-free; that hasn’t changed. What’s new is the smoke-free policy now includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.
In May, the Risk Management advisory panel, made up of two Scout executives from each region, passed a motion recommending to the Chief Scout Executive that “vaping” be added to BSA’s tobacco-use policy.
BSA Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock approved the recommendation, and therefore, effective with the October 2014 electronic updates to the Guide To Safe Scouting, the Tobacco portion of “Section IV: Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use and Abuse” now reads:
Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youth, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems that simulate tobacco smoking.
All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.
I’ve bolded the portion that was added in October.
Richard Bourlon, Health and Safety team leader, confirmed to me that the BSA’s Health and Safety Committee agrees with Scout executives and our Chief on their decision.
Yes, some of our Scouters are smokers. But whether it’s a cigarette, cigar, pipe, e-cigarette, chewing tobacco, or dip, the practice — if it must occur — should only happen away from participants and out of view.