I should start by stating that in no way have I heard news from Clarke University, or any staff members of Clarke, mention that the University is going to ban vaping from campus. I was compelled to write about this subject after hearing news of other Universities banning vaping in response to the recent deaths of minors by malfunctioning vaporizers and respiratory illnesses.
For all those who are unfamiliar with vaping, the Center of Addiction describes vaping as the
act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.” A watery solution contained in a capsule, called a pod, is attached to the vaporizer and creates the vapor. While with regular tobacco products, you are inhaling Tabaco smoke, e-cigarettes produce aerosol not water vapor that have particles containing various chemicals that the Center of Addiction claims are “linked to cancer, as well as respiratory and heart disease” suspended in the gas. E-cigarettes like Juul, Mig Vapor, and Halo G6 advertise that their products are a means to quit smoking by simulating the aspects of smoking while claiming to be less harmful then a traditional tobacco cigarette. However, there has been a recent increase in teen usage. In 2016, only about 5.4% of American teens smoked. As of September 2019, 1 in 4 school students vape according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Even though this product is spreading so quickly, e-cigarettes have not really been studied before. There is so much unknown about it and its health effects. They have yet to have a review from the Food and Drug Administration. On top of this, there have been increasingly more and more injuries and deaths that the CDC has confirmed are related to vaping. About 1,479 have had lung injuries and 33 have died, one of them being a 13 year old, who is the youngest to die due to vaping. People are taking measures to limit usage of this product. Juul themselves have decided to pull several fruit flavors from their shelves, including some of their most popular flavors of mango, berry, and crème, stating that they want to “reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers” by Juul CEO KC Crosthwaite. They will continue selling mint and menthol flavored pod, which are still some of their biggest sellers.
This outbreak has caused a lot of uproar in the news and prompted the Texas A&M University System to ban vaping for all of its buildings and properties. Chancellor John Sharp of the System was quoted saying to the Texas Tribune that he did not want to “take any unnecessary chances with the health of our students, faculty and staff”. Several universities and schools are also taking efforts to regulate or flat out ban vaping from their premises. Smoking is already banned from all enclosed workplaces in 26 states, including Iowa, and most states have bans for smoking inside school buildings if not the school grounds. Clarke University has a schoolwide ban for smoking on their grounds. The only question remains if they will also ban vaping.
I asked students and teacher around Clarke about how they would feel if Clarke decided to follow these other universities.
Emily Jones, a junior at Clarke who vapes, said that she believes Clarke should not ban vaping, but she finds it a difficult question as to whether or not to ban it from campus. “It would make it more inconvenient for me as someone who does vape, but Clarke is already a non-smoking university, so it makes sense for it to also ban vaping.” Emily said when asked about the subject. She said that it Clarke has always been very mindful about the health of their students, but they also want to have the appearance that Clarke is a professional university so “we don’t want people standing outside vaping.” She also made a very good point that Senior High schooler walk past Clarke every day and as the cool college students, we make an impression on them. “I drive past a lot of high school students and I vape in my car, so now, I have to think, what are they going to think seeing me?”
Maggie Christianson thinks Clarke should ban vaping saying, “it’s a choice that someone has to make, but she does not like being in a environment were people are.” She knows a lot of people who vape, but she does not for health reasons. She does agree that it makes Clarke less professional, recalling “walking outside and seeing two people right outside the atrium doors vaping in a corner and feeling uncomfortable.” She does not want to be in an environment where people are smoking. “When I’m with friends, they know that I don’t want to inhale so they try to prevent it as much as possible. I think to maintain a professional environment especially for those who do not support, I think it should not be allowed on campus, we are here to get an education and get ready for the professional world, it does not look professional.”
So after reading some facts, what do you think? Should Clarke ban vaping?
Please follow the links below to find more information
Najmabadi, Shannon. “Texas A&M University System to ban vaping across all its campuses” Texas Tribune, Oct 1, 2019. Web. Oct 14, 2019
Richter, Linda. “Recreational Vaping 101: What is Vaping?” Expert Views E-Cigarettes, October 2018, Web. Oct 15, 2019
Blaha, Michael Joseph. “5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know” John Hopkins Medicine, 2019. Web. October 14, 2019
“The Latest Information on JUUL: 8 Important Things to Know” Truth Initiative, September 23, 2019. Web. October 20, 2019
LaVito, Angelica. “CDC Says Teen Vaping Surges to More Than 1 in 4 High School Students” CNBC, September 12, 2019. Web. October 21, 2019
Radcliffe, Shawn. “CDC Says Vitamin E May Be Behind Deadly Lung Disease Linked to Vaping” Healthline, November 8, 2019. Web. October 22, 2019
Study International Staff. “How Universities are Handling Student Vaping” SINEWS, September 19, 2019. Web. October 22, 2019
Harrison, Sara. “Juul, Under Heavy Fire, Pulls Fruit-Flavored Pods From US” Wired, October 17, 2019. Web. October 23, 2019
“Schools” Public Health Law Center, 2019. Web. October 22, 2019