AMHERST, N.Y. — When you walk into most buildings at the University at Buffalo, you'll see signs reminding students smoking is prohibited.
But some students say the university's smoke-free policy is widely ignored, especially when it comes to e-cigarettes and vaping.
"They give me headaches, they give me ocular migraines, they make me feel sick," said student Carlos Bayon.
Bayon says he's even seen classmates vaping during class, and despite reporting it to the professor, nothing was done.
"He was in violation of that policy and I reported this to the faculty and administration, they're not going to do anything," said Bayon.
The policy was first drafted in 2009 and was revised in 2010 to include e-cigarettes.
Domenic Licata, the chairman of the university's professional staff senate, says it simply doesn't have enough teeth to deter campus smoking.
The current policy would see offenders go before the school's student judiciary, but says that penalty has never been enforced.
"Without a clear mechanism for hearing these complaints and acting on them, there's a culture that you can get away with this," said Licata.
Licata served on a committee tasked with finding ways to improve the policy and one of the first suggestions they've made is harsher penalties.
"Monetary fines or something like community service," said Licata.
But those are merely suggestions, and any concrete changes to punishments would require more collaboration between the university and campus police.
What Licata says is imminent is improved signage and student outreach at the beginning of each semester.
"When the last policy was put in place, there was a major effort in communication and outreach for some time, but as soon as that ended, people forget and new students come in every semester so we just need to continually repeat this message," said Licata.
The University at Buffalo did not immediately return a request for comment.