E-cigs: what’s not so great about them


Bradly Smith, Staff Reporter

Electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigs,” have been making a huge impact on the tobacco scene over the past several years. In 2014 alone, roughly $2 billion was spent on e-cigs in the United States.

According to the National College Health Assessment at Central, in 2014 only 12.2 percent of students reported the use of tobacco at any point in their lives. Only 3 percent reported smoking daily.

According to Doug Fulp, a health educator at the Central Wellness Center, this survey is very useful in establishing a baseline for how many students smoke cigarettes.

More and more students have started smoking e-cigs, according to Fulp. This could be the result of several factors, such as the high price of regular cigarettes or their detrimental health risks.

“Even with the high price of cigarettes and the well-known health risks, people will continue to buy cigarettes,” Fulp said. “But, as we can see by this survey, there is a low number of students who actually do smoke.”

E-cigs are marketed as a great alternative to smoking regular cigarettes. However, they have not been around quite long enough for students to be certain of the health risks, or if they are indeed a successful alternative, Fulp said.

“At the Wellness Center, we do offer ‘quit-kits,’ which are full of useful information to help a person quit smoking,” Fulp said.

The Wellness Center attempt to do this in a very non-judgmental way and offer resources such as coaches to help students who want to quit.

E-cigs are not regulated by the FDA, and, therefore, are also banned in “no-smoking areas.”

“You are not allowed to smoke e-cigs inside any building or restricted no-smoking areas on campus, even though they only emit vapor rather than tobacco smoke,” Fulp said.

Fulp said that he has seen people trying to make the switch from cigarettes to e-cigs, but in a lot of cases, they use them simultaneously, which is even more hazardous.

Shaun Kaufman, junior theatre arts major, said that he has been smoking cigarettes for three years and has attempted to quit in the past.

“It was ridiculously hard trying to quit cold turkey; I tried an e-cig and did not like it at all,” Kaufman said.

Even though they might be cheaper in the long run, if he decides to quit again, Kaufman said it would definitely not be with the help of an e-cig.