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UWS tobacco free policy to include eCigs

Rachel Bursik

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced its plan to propose regulation on e-cigarettes that would force manufacturer’s to disclose their ingredients. While the FDA has finally decided to enforce some regulation on the newest craze to hit the tobacco scene, the student lead initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Superior plans to include e-cigarettes in its tobacco free policy.

Because of the current lack of regulation by the FDA, manufacturers have no regulation or safety precautions in place to follow; there is no way to know that what they say is in the cartridge is actually true.

A drastic increase in poisoning due to e-cigarettes also has been reported. In 2012 the American Association of Poison Control Center had 460 reported exposures to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine poisonings. This number saw a 218 percent increase in 2013 with 1,446 reports. As of April 9, the poison control center has 871 reported cases. This number of poisonings is increasing at a dangerously fast rate.

Some misconceptions about e-cigarettes are that they only produce a water vapor, they are not harmful like other tobacco products and they are not addicting.

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a very addictive chemical. If you are smoking an e-cigarette, it is not that different from a cigarette. The idea that e-cigarettes only produce a water vapor and does not produce similar impacts like second-hand smoke is inaccurate.

“If you are around somebody who is using e-cigarettes, you are breathing an aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds and other toxins,” according to Dr. Stanton Glantz, director for the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California in San Francisco. It is not just a water vapor exhaled. Second-hand exposure to e-cigarettes is just like second hand exposure to any tobacco product.

As e-cigarettes continue to grow in popularity among young adults, the student-led initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Superior deems it necessary to add this product to the Tobacco Free Policy. As one of the last schools in the Twin Ports area to initiate some form of smoke or tobacco free policy, the students apart of the initiative at Superior want their university to catch up with the area and promote a healthy lifestyle for all of its students, faculty, administrators and guests.

Rachel Bursik is a part of the student-led Tobacco Free initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.