E-cigs make debut on campus


Amelia Hill
Online Editor
and Multimedia Director

Though introduced to the U.S. market in 2007, electronic cigarettes, more accurately called personal vaporizers (PV), are just now making an appearance on campus. Like most trends, the PV was popular in big cities along the coasts and slowly traveled to midwest towns.

So why is the PV becoming such a big hit?

No Smoke

Most are similar enough in appearance and can be easily mistaken for regular cigarettes, but one look inside and you’ll see the main difference: personal vaporizers don’t contain tobacco. Instead, there’s a mechanism that heats up liquid nicotine, which turns into a vapor that consumers inhale and exhale.

This is the reason many trendy, big city restaurants and clubs allow the use of a PV, but not tobacco products. There’s no lingering second-hand smoke—only some water vapor (that looks like smoke) with a faint fruity to minty scent left behind.

That said, the fact that the PV contains no tobacco, raises concerns amongst the younger generations. The FDA doesn’t regulate vaporizers, making it easier for minors to get their hands on and become addicted to nicotine.

Nicotine levels

A PV can contain as much nicotine as a regular cigarette—even more or less. There’s different levels that a consumer can purchase. The amount of nicotine an electronic cigarette delivers depends on the content of the liquid-nicotine cartridge installed in it.

Customers can choose cartridges containing nicotine in a range of strengths from zero to 24 milligrams. Some are comparable to the amount of nicotine in a regular tobacco cigarette; others are closer to that of a light or ultralight cigarette. These levels allow smokers to quit smoking and wean themselves off of nicotine. Also, for users who want the sensory experience of smoking without its effect, there are cartridges that contain liquid without nicotine.

On campus

Will the college allow students and faculty to use their PV inside? The answer is: No.

In a recent public record, Dr. Herb Schade said e-cigs were becoming more prevalent on campus and advises students and faculty to not smoke in campus facilities. Board members agreed, their only reasoning being that e-cigs can resemble, and are sometimes mistaken, for regular cigarettes.

As stated in the most recent student handbook, “The use of tobacco, smokeless tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes are prohibited within all college buildings and college-owned vehicles.”

“You’re left to vape with the smokers,” says Cheryl Davis, co-owner of Metro Vapors located in Joplin, Mo. “I feel like people just need to be educated that this [personal vaporizer] is not cigarette. It’s why we choose to not to associate our product with e-cigs.”

The decision (that personal vaporizers can’t be used inside the college) could soon change. The PV is still a new piece of technology—it’s still being discovered. In a year or two, when the community is more knowledgeable about the trend, officials might allow the use of these vaporizers inside the college—away from the smokers.

Do you agree with Dr. Schade and the board members? Tweet us your thoughts by using @CS_NewsNet and #CampusPV.