LCCC student Jody Page got into hookah for a while, and loved the relaxing feeling of smoking, but because hookah was not portable, she got into vaping.
Page started vaping about one year ago. She said no visible or no internal effects has happened to her, but a peer of hers had asked her to stop using the product. “My brother in law mentions that he’s heard that it can cause popcorn lung and others had said it was a stupid habit,” said Page. She does know that the vaping craze is not an all healthy substitute. “Smoking anything into your lungs is not healthy,” said Page, but recommends vaping to people looking for a substitute to smoking cigarettes. Page went on to say, “You can use vaping to lower and then cease your use of nicotine.” Page has past experience as well as she once used to smoke cigarettes. “I personally believe vaping is better than cigarettes and I will hold on to that belief. People seem to be afraid of anything new,” Page said. She went on to say, “Sadly smoking is deeply tied into American culture and tobacco is a very big business. The tobacco industry is being threatened for the first time in history so of course there is going to be backlash.”
Page believes cigarettes will not exist in the near future. “I personally believe that we are in the last generation of cigarettes. I think they are falling out of style and will eventually be replaced by vaping,” said Page.
The country has witnessed the evolution of teen use of cigarettes in the 1950s to now an electronic cigarette that is supposed to be a new healthier substitution.
E-cigarettes have became popular over the past few years and the consumers are majority teen through young adults. Due to it being so new and trendy, not many know if there is an effect to your body after consumption.
The dangers of vaping
What is known about e-cigarettes, according to centeronaddiction.org, by Director of Policy Research and Analysis, Linda Richter, PhD, e-cigarettes are not risk free. Though they are less harmful than smoked cigarettes, no evidence is given that they are safe. Research indicates that negative health consequences can still come to the body by using e-cigarettes, such as damage to the brain, cancerous tumor development, pre-term deliveries and stillbirths in pregnant women, and harmful effects on the brain and lung development, when use occurs during fetal development or adolescence.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which no matter if it is smoked or vaped, is still a highly addictive drug regardless of how it is delivered. “Nicotine addiction is notoriously difficult to reverse, and use of e-cigarettes frequently leads to use of other nicotine products, including smoked cigarettes as well as alcohol and other drugs,” Dr. Richter said. Nicotine can also affect brain development, and since a developing brain is more vulnerable to the effects of addictive substances than a fully developed brain. Additionally, nicotine can “disrupt brain development, interfere with long-term cognitive functioning, and increase the risk of various mental and physical health problems later in life,” said Dr. Richter.
There is little evidence that e-cigarettes can reliably reduce cigarette smoking, and Dr. Richter went on to say, “in fact, the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes and other vaping products may actually perpetuate addiction, in some cases making it even harder to quit smoking.”
Dr. Richter then went on to say there is also research that shows, “young people [beginning] to smoke cigarettes after using e-cigarettes.”
Professor and program coordinator at LCCC, Lisa Augustine, said “In our policy, e-cigarettes count as juuls, vape and pens. All are in the same category.”
“You don’t know what percent is nicotine and then they have different types of flavors to it so it becomes really addicting,” said Dr. Augustine, and continued to say, “We don’t know what is entirely is in the smoke. It still holds numerous amounts of chemicals that can affect your cells or even your family or pets. It’s a vice. Very addictive. They are going away with tobacco smoke but yet juuls isn’t the way either.”
When asked about the severity of e-cigarettes, Dr. Augustine said, “Center of Disease Control has a trend line of kids ingesting more and more liquid nicotine and the calls have increased by the thousands.”
President of the LCCC Faculty Senate, Hope Moon said, “If anyone puts liquid nicotine in their eye, nasal or any mucus membrane, you can have a toxic effect and can even die if exposed to a high level of it.”
LCCC has adopted a hundred percent tobacco free policy that supports a healthy environment for all as of August 1, 2017. The primary emphasis of this approach is to focus on the elimination of tobacco and all smoking simulating device use on all College property with cessation left as a choice for the individual.
LCCC also has multiple programs on-campus or online to help those who want to stop smoking. The Caring Advocates for Recovery Education (CARE) Center, located room number BU 113D, main purpose is to develop plans for students, community users, and staff to help tobacco users with the change to not being able to use tobacco products on campus. Charlene Dellipoala and Nanci Ickes are both Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists (CTTS) and are there to assist anyone who seek help.