BY MIKE ABELL
E-cigs seen as tobacco derivative
While e-cigarettes, or e-cigs are viewed as a healthy alternative to cigarettes for some, there are health and environmental risks involved, and because of that they’re banned on campus.
There aren’t many published health studies on e-cigs. However, e-cigs are viewed as a derivative of cigarettes due to the nicotine in them.
As of now, the college is a tobacco-free campus, which includes e-cigs. E-cigs aren’t exactly stated in the tobacco policy but embedded. However, the policy could be modified to include them. The Student Senate would then have to vote on it. According to Dennis Day, vice president of student success and engagement, the current classification of e-cigs is unlikely to change until a court case ruling deems otherwise.
“Until either a court case or science changes that [classification] that has been put forth, then we’ll stick with it as a tobacco product,” said Day. “The use of any tobacco product on campus is prohibited other than in the privacy of your own car.”
E-cigs are considered hazardous for multiple reasons. Firstly, they’re igniters. The battery in an e-cig creates a sort of hot coil, similar to a car’s cigarette lighter. A lot of e-cigs are rechargeable. However, some are disposable. Regardless of the mechanism, it’s still an igniter.
“Let’s say you’re carrying around a cigarette lighter and you flick it. You may think that’s no big deal, but on a college campus with all the stuff, its probably not the best thing,” said Day “You could toss that in a trash can.”
Additionally, the vapor that they create has yet to be proven harmless. Day said that if e-cigs were healthy then they would back up their advertising with science.
“If there is a vapor then there is still going to be something. You’re ingesting something, are you exhaling something, too,” said Day.
“Not much has come out in the news as far as court cases,” said Day. “ That’s going to be the determining factor moving forward. Right now, based on the information we have, the federal government has said that e-cig products are tobacco derivatives.”
E-cigarette use among the U.S. youth nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, according to the National Youth’s tobacco survey. It has also been repeatedly asked if e-cigs help smokers quit. According to Hotspot Vapes Owner, Mark Boswell, a lot of customers that come through his shop are trying to drop the habit.
“Most people are coming in here to quit. I mean there are some people that just do it as a hobby, like myself. It’s more of a hobby for me,” said Boswell.
Boswell opened his store three months ago and he said that business has been good. What attracted him to selling e-cigarettes was the industry and everything that he had heard about it.
The goal for people who try to quit using e-cigs is usually to smoke with less and less nicotine in their e-cig.
“There are some that don’t have nicotine in them. It’s what you choose to do. But most people do use nicotine and then they’ll eventually go down,” said Boswell.
Contact Mike Abell, editor-in-chief, firstname.lastname@example.org