Vaping on campus: Passing fad or here to stay?

Electronic cigarettes and vaping are becoming a national trend, but many people do not realize there may be serious health risks involved. Others hope vaping is simply a passing fad.

“It will die out soon because there really is no set market for it,” said Katy Campf, a junior pharmacy student.

Vaping refers to drawing in or exhaling the steam (or vapor) from an e-cigarette or similar device.

Some people believe it is more socially acceptable to vape than to smoke an actual cigarette in public. This is because vaping produces a water vapor cloud as opposed to actual smoke.

People tend to believe that this water vapor is not as harmful to them or the people around them, however, this may not be the case. According to the American Lung Association, a 2014 study found that e-cigarettes with a higher voltage level have higher amounts of formaldehyde, a carcinogen.

The American Lung Association also states that two initial studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens) coming from the secondhand emissions. Other studies have shown that chemicals exhaled by users also contain formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other potential irritants.

More than one person questioned on Wilkes’ campus said they believed that vaping was just water vapor and didn’t contain toxins, as in cigarettes.

Many vape shops use the advertisement that vaping can help a person stop smoking. Answers varied when students were asked if they believed vaping was an effective way to quit smoking.

“Everybody I know who vapes still smokes cigarettes because they don’t get the same feeling from vaping,” said Michael Kosik, a junior. “I do not think it is effective.”

The American Lung Association is troubled about unproven claims that e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit. The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has not approved any e-cigarette as a safe and effective method to help smokers quit.

As vaping is becoming more and more popular, one question remains: is vaping a passing fad or is it here to stay? It appears as though students at Wilkes believe it is just a passing trend.

“As for those who aren’t smokers and are just following the trend, they’ll get bored of it soon enough,” said Sia Geiser, a junior. “However, I feel more and more smokers will transition over to vaping.”

At Wilkes, feelings toward vaping are mixed, though a few students took issue with having to walk through the exhaled vapor. In general, however, students believe it is the user’s choice.

“I think everyone should do what works best for them,” said Allison Nelson, a sophomore nursing student.