Community opinion differs on the ‘e-cig’

The controversy continues about the use of electronic cigarettes as a safer, more acceptable alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.

Also known as e-cigarettes, the electronic versions are subject to the same rules on campus as traditional cigarettes.

“Students are not allowed to use them in the residence halls,” Associate Director of Residence Life Shaun Holtgreive said. “We still consider them a hazard to students.”

An e-cigarette is composed of a nicotine cartridge and a heating element that turns the nicotine into a vapor. A person then inhales the vaporized nicotine.

E-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco or many other additives found in traditional cigarettes. Therefore, they do not produce the harmful carcinogens that cigarettes do.

Dave Sprunger, the owner of Smokers Club, 100 S. Mission Street, sells the NJoy brand of e-cigarettes in his store.

“Electronic cigarettes are great for my business,” Sprunger said. “They just make sense.”

Although the U.S Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes, Sprunger believes they are safer to use than cigarettes because people inhale vapor instead of smoke.

“They are a way for smokers to get their fix of nicotine without all the harmful carcinogens,” Sprunger said. “I expect to see e-cigarettes being more commonly used.”

According to the FDA’s website , researchers are not positive what e-cigarettes contain because little research has been done on them.

Because so little is known about e-cigarettes, many establishments do not have rules against using them.

Buffalo Wild Wings, 1904 S. Mission Street, employee, Vanessa Oblinger, said customers are allowed to use e-cigarettes in the restaurant because they do not apply to the smoking ban law, and managers do not see a problem with them.

Once more data is released, people should be able to make a more informed opinion. Until then, currently no state laws prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes.