Tobacco ban will include e-cigs, vapes

Josh Hartman / Sun Star

Electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as “e-cigarettes” or “vapes,” will be included in the campus-wide ban on tobacco. This Tobacco Free policy will go into affect on Dec. 31.

E-cigarettes and vapes operate by delivering nicotine contained in a cartridge (generally battery powered) which is turned to vapor with a heating device. The majority of these devices are

A graph showing how the percentage of Americans smoking has declined over the years. With the exception of a spike in 1998, smoking has declined to a historic low. Graphic courtesy of the Centers fo Disease Control (CDC)

A graph showing how the percentage of Americans smoking has declined over the years. With the exception of a spike in 1998, smoking has declined to a historic low. Graphic courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

used by placing the device in the user’s lips which activates the heating element which vaporizes the liquid to be inhaled.

These smoking simulators do not release vapor and particulates at a constant rate like normal cigarettes. The vapor released from e-cigarettes and vapes comes only from that which is re-exhaled by the user.

Smoking substitutes do not necessarily need to contain nicotine as some of them only have flavors such as vanilla, caramel, or watermelon. Vapes, along with e-cigarettes, also do not contain tobacco.

Tobacco is the plant commonly used to obtain nicotine, is not the only target of UAF’s Tobacco Free policy.  The new regulations apply to e-cigarettes and vapes even if they do not have nicotine in them.

University Regulation R05.12.102. states:  “…operating an electronic smoking or vaping device, instrument or apparatus which can be used to simulate the experience of smoking…” is prohibited.

While e-cigarettes contain less harmful substances than regular cigarettes they still may produce the immediate harm to the lungs that cigarettes do according to a study done by Professor Christina Gratziou from the University of Athens, Greece.

The study found that people who used an e-cigarette for ten minutes experienced an increase in airway resistance. This could occur because the liquid vapor blocks areas of the lung that absorb oxygen, according to Sofia Vakali a doctor at the Sotiria Hospital in Athens.

This type of airway resistance can be caused by the inhalation of any type of liquid vapor or particulate. This is notable because even “harmless” substances like water vapor or silt can cause some blockage in the lungs of those exposed.

Another study from the University of Southern California explains that vapor released from e-cigarettes contains a tenfold decrease in harmful particles with close to zero organic carcinogens.

Then a study by Public Health England has concluded: “e-cigarettes are around 95 percent safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit.” It is studies like this that support the view that e-cigarettes should be supported in order to decrease the vast amount of preventable cigarette-caused deaths worldwide.

According to a user of vape pens and UAF student studying Paleontology, Skylar Smith, he has not noticed any effects of vaping. “I can still do sports and other physical activities just fine,” Smith said.

Additionally Smith related that a family member of his was able to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes.

“You can control the amount of nicotine in one dose,” Smith said. “That way you can start out using the same amount of nicotine as a regular cigarette while gradually using less and less.”

Harold Wimmer, CEO of the American Lung Association. Says that there is still much to learn about these products despite the fact that they have been on the market since 2003.

“There is presently no government oversight of these products and absent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, there is no way for the public health, medical community or consumers to know what chemicals are contained in e-cigarettes or what the short and long term health implications might be,” Wimmer said on Aug. 25, 2014.

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1 Response

  1. Rene Ebbers says:

    I think it’s about time that people start working together. Tobaco is a killer and maybe there are some substances in e-liquid that are harmful. Just the fact that e-liquids contain about 7000 chemicals less than cigarettes should be enough to check this out and MAKE IT SAFE.

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