The acrid taste of cigarette smoke hangs around the smoke shacks at Pierce College. Passersby on the way to their cars or their classes inhale the destructive, addictive smoke.
In an electric cigarette, the smoke is replaced with what the cigarette industry calls a harmless water vapor, but nicotine is still delivered from a flavored cartridge in the reusable cigarette.
These cigarettes currently aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; therefore, few rules surround the purchase and use of electronic cigarettes. In many states, minors are able to purchase them and they can be smoked in public places.
In King County, however, the cigarettes can’t be purchased by children or smoked in public places. In Pierce County, children can’t purchase the cigarettes, but there’s no regulation on where the cigarette is allowable or unallowable.
I propose, and hope, that Pierce County and Pierce College adopts a policy that restricts the smoking of electronic cigarettes to the previously defined smoking areas on campus.
Though electronic cigarettes are marketed to not cause any effects of secondhand smoke, studies have proved otherwise. The vapor released by smoking an electronic cigarette can also contain many of the harmful chemicals found in the liquids cartridge.
A peer-reviewed study in Germany found that electronic cigarettes can emit aerosols and volatile organic chemicals. Although the FDA has not set clear guidelines for their regulation and treatment, they found carcinogens and one of the principal ingredients of antifreeze, diethylene glycol, in a 2009 study of the ingredients contained in the nicotine cartridges of two major electronic cigarette brands.
Several countries have banned the sale and use of electronic cigarettes because enough research pertaining to the contents of the electronic cigarettes and the effects of vaping pure nicotine has not been done; Mexico, Brazil, Lebanon, Malaysia and Panama have bans on electronic cigarettes currently in effect.
Other countries don’t ban the device, but they ban the sale and use of nicotine cartridges, which are a vital component to those needing the nicotine to satisfy an addiction.
A majority of the attorneys general from the United States and the U.S. territories wrote a letter to the FDA in September 2013 urging it to regulate electronic cigarettes like tobacco products.
I don’t want to be exposed to potentially poisonous chemicals so that someone can perpetuate his or her nicotine addiction.
Bringing drugs, alcohol and tobacco cigarettes into the school for use is not permitted, and as an addictive and potentially harmful substance, nicotine-bearing electronic cigarettes should also be banned from the school.
Allowing other members of the Pierce College community to fulfill their addictions is not worth my health and well-being. Electronic cigarettes shouldn’t be permitted on campus outside of designated smoking areas.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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