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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Head to head: E-Cig ban

    Megha Raghunathan against the ban

    Humans are social animals, and the constant need for appreciation and approval that arises from this maxim defines most of our habits as either socially acceptable or unacceptable.

    One of these habits that has been shunned away into the the space of unacceptability is smoking.

    I’ll remind you that this is the same society where smoking cigars while sipping blended scotch near a fireplace is considered classy.

    Right outside that room, though, you may find a few people, unable to feel their fingers anymore in the biting cold, but they are still enjoying the company of their extra-long Winstons.

    The difference? These people are branded with the social unacceptability clauses of being “unhealthy” and having “a filthy habit.”

    I understand the basis of the accusations hurled at smokers—addiction, cancer, lung diseases, the stench of tobacco permeating public spaces.

    But believe it or not, some of them do want to quit, or at least reduce their intake.

    Smoking isn’t called a “habit” without reason—it’s a regular addiction that is incredibly hard to give up.

    At first there were nicotine patches, but recent studies by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts concluded that light and heavy smokers relapsed with and without the use of nicotine patches.

    In other words, they don’t seem to help people as much in the long term.

    Nicotine patches also instantly take away the feeling of holding and smoking a cigarette.

    This is bound to create a psychological impact on the smoker and make him/her more aware of the fact that they actually are not smoking.

    Now we have a new technology at our disposal—electronic cigarettes.

    These don’t contain any tobacco, tar or the great majority of the toxins that are related to smoking tobacco.

    Once you do away with the tobacco, the next thing that you can automatically be rid of is the smell.

    The smell of cigarettes is one of the things that bothers people when someone smokes around them, and it is also one of the major reasons why people aren’t allowed to smoke in public spaces.

    With e-cigarettes, one can pick the fragrance of their choice—ranging from strawberry to vanilla, and anything in between—but it’s all right if you aren’t fond of these fragrances either, since they don’t stick around for very long.

    The long trail of ash and cigarette butts left behind after a smoker must be added to the list of reasons why traditional smokers are looked down upon for lighting up in public.

    RELATED: UA bans E-cigarettes in update to Tobacco Campus Use Policy

    Second-hand smoke is also socially unacceptable, as it is known to harm other people’s lungs.

    Conversely, the mist that arises out of e-cigarettes is mostly water-based, which isn’t harmful and only lingers for a few seconds.

    The technology of e-cigarettes has been able to answer all of these issues. They don’t produce any of the ash, unpleasant smells or secondhand smoke traditional cigarettes do.

    E-cigarettes also allow one to monitor their level of nicotine intake, thus making quitting easier through a gradual nicotine reduction without taking away the actual hand-to-mouth feel of a cigarette.

    For those of you who aren’t planning to quit, e-cigarettes are still a valid option since you can buy e-liquids of nicotine strength matching that of normal cigarettes.

    Though the initial investment is high, in the long run, e-cigarettes go easier on your wallets.

    For those of you looking to delay the shift from cigarettes to e-cigarettes because you think you will miss the style of your favorite brands, I think it’s time you were informed that e-cigs come in various styles and colors for you to choose from.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about personal choice.

    Smoking isn’t the worst thing a person can do. Don’t let society decide what’s good for you and what’s not.

    By that, I also mean don’t succumb to peer pressure and start smoking because it’s considered cool.

    We all have our own moral compasses and sometimes what you call North may be South for someone else.


     Claudia Drace for the ban

    The UA Faculty Senate banned the use of electronic cigarettes on campus due to their unknown side effects that could potentially affect the user and people surrounding them.

    The use of e-cigarettes has been on the rise over the past decade.

    This fad began as a healthy alternative to smoking cigarettes, as the user inhales vapor rather than tobacco smoke.

    Based on recent research and data, though, vaping could be more harmful than people originally thought.

    This year, the FDA began researching the ingredients found in e-cigarettes and investigating the potential harm that they could have on one’s health.

    E-cigarettes are currently classified as tobacco products.

    The FDA views e-cigs as tobacco products because of a 2010 federal court case, where an e-cigarette manufacturer filed a case against the FDA, according to The American Lung Association’s “E-cigarettes and Lung Facts.”

    In this case, it was determined vaporizers are harmful and not therapeutic, which led to the conclusion that they should be classified as tobacco products.

    In order for the FDA to change this classification, the manufacturer has to run clinical trials to determine if vapes have a therapeutic effect—meaning, they help people quit.

    The American Lung Association reported that in 2013, 76.8 percent of e-cigarette users were also cigarette users.

    “Juice from e-cigarettes has different amounts of the addictive stimulant nicotine, from zero to about 72 milligrams per milliliter of liquid (a traditional cigarette has 10 to 15 milligrams),” according to Consumer Reports.

    The nicotine levels posted on vaporizer juice packages are often false, according to multiple studies conducted by the FDA.

    When a vape juice says it has 0 percent nicotine, it still has traceable amounts of nicotine. Nicotine is found in both e-cigs and cigarettes, making both of these products highly addictive.

    RELATED: Tobacco ban puts out unhealthy habits

    This also makes it easier for nicotine addicts to switch between the two products.

    It was found by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that young adults who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become addicted to cigarettes and other drugs.

    This is because at a young age they are exposed to nicotine and become dependent on the drug.

    When the body becomes dependent on drugs like nicotine, it is easier to become addicted to other substances as well.

    One problem with vaporizers is that they are a newer trend, and the long-term effects are not known yet.

    Right now these products may not be causing any serious health issues, but in the long run, we could find that the ingredients used are dangerous for the user and potentially others around them.

    These products hit the market with the intent to replace cigarettes, but all we know right now is that vaping may cause cancer, heart disease, lung problems or other health problems just as bad as those that result from smoking cigarettes.

    Although the amount of carcinogens found in e-cigarettes is not as high, e-cigs still contain some dangerous substances.

    The FDA found that two of the leading vaporizer brands had anti-freeze chemicals in them. Other studies have found that high voltage in a vaporizer correlates to formaldehyde levels.

    Both of these chemicals have the potential to cause cancer or other medical problems.

    A big part of the reason why e-cigarettes have been banned on campus is because of the potential harm their second-hand smoke may have.

    It’s unknown what effects second-hand vapors have on individuals.

    “Two studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens) coming from those second-hand emissions,” the American Lung Association reported. “Other studies have shown that chemicals in the vapor contain formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other potential toxins.”

    A study conducted by the Journal of Environmental Science found that toxins such as nickel and chromium are emitted from vapes. Both of these studies concluded that second-hand e-cigarette smoke is not as dangerous as cigarette smoke, but we do not know what harm these chemicals may have on individuals around e-cigarettes.

    Regardless, they still contain toxins.

    People have the right to vape if they choose, but it is important that they learn the facts about vaping before they do it.

    The UA is banning these products out of respect for the health of the student body as a whole. 

    Follow Megha Raghunathan and Claudia Drace on Twitter.

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