By Gillian Findley
Puffs escape and disappear from the mouths of students standing and chatting in front of Kean University buildings like the CAS, the UC and the library.
Students and faculty loosen their day by smoking either cigarettes or the now trendy: E-cigs. As the weather gets warmer, the more mists and clouds of smoke are exposed.
Electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigs, are the new and the improved cigarette. They come in different sizes, colors, and flavors. People who thought smoking cigarettes were cool are outdated; vaping has become the new cool.
Carrying a battery and an LED light, e-cigs, also called vape pens, have become the go-to device to help quit smoking. According to the Huffington Post, people who use e-cigs breathe in water vapor infused with nicotine or other chemicals and exhale what looks like smoke.
Student Kenneth Meiers, a junior majoring in psychology, was asked to put his vape pen away in class. It became an ethical issue for Meiers when he thought the sole purpose of having a vape pen or an e-cig was to be able to smoke it anywhere he pleased.
“I was embarrassed when my professor told me in front of my classmates that I can smoke wherever else, but not his classroom. I wanted to tell him off, but I didn’t, because I didn’t know the law of e-cigs in N.J.,” Meiers said.
When class was dismissed Meiers explained that his professor told him that state law restricts the use of e-cigarettes in workplaces and other indoor public places.
The lookalike cigarettes are tobacco free, which means that they are currently allowed in the United States. According to the Huffington Post, cities like Boston, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles have restricted e-cigs. Utah, New Jersey and North Dakota have banned their use wherever smoking is prohibited.
“Since I read up on e-cigs and the laws, I also found out the potential hazards of vaping,” Meiers stated.
Meiers explained that just like cigarettes, e-cigs also have their risks. He also stated that the e-cigs are better than smoking cigarettes.
The Huffington Post includes a statement that involves evidence in e-cigs: “Though the toxicant levels of e-cigs may be ‘9-450 times lower than in cigarette smoke,’ levels of formaldehyde and metals have been found to be comparable to, or higher than, those found in conventional cigarettes. Silicate particles, which are a cause of lung disease, have also been found in e-cigarette vapors.”
Meiers said that the user chooses whether or not to have nicotine in their e-liquid, and if they want nicotine, they have the option to choose the level of it. Showing the mouth piece of his vape pen, he began explaining the parts of it.
“The tank is where you put the liquid, that piece is called the coil. The coil heads the liquid up and turns it into water vapor. The base of it is usually called the model, and that is powered by the battery,” Meiers said while pointing at the device.
Meiers went from smoking two packs a day to about five, and his goal is to quit completely. Meiers stated that the good thing about the vape pen is the liquid. He says he can control his nicotine intake.
“I want to be able to smoke just hookah for the oral fixation which would be zero nicotine in the liquid.”