E-cigarettes allowed only in campus smoking areas1 min read

Jescelane Valencia, Staff Writer

Not many De Anza College students know it, but smoking electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is banned on campus unless used in designated smoking areas.

The electronic inhaling devices are designed to vaporize liquid nicotine into mist as a substitute to smoking conventional cigarettes. Although e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, it is still considered smoking, according to FHDA district policies.

E-cigarettes are popular among teens and young adults, but not everyone agrees on the product’s claim that it is safe to smoke indoors.

“E-cigs are fairly new, and there [are] no long-term studies to show the health risks,” Mary Sullivan, health education and wellness director, wrote in an email. “There is no standardization of the product (safety checks) and there has been an increase [in the] number of exploding e-cigs causing serious damage to the mouth, lip and tongue.”

The little research so far suggest health concerns, especially with flavored brands. They may not contain tobacco, but nicotine is derived from tobacco, Sullivan wrote. The cartridges release other substances like heavy metals and silicate particles.

Some smokers have learned to modify their e-cigarettes to dispense THC, the active chemical in marijuana, which is why De Anza’s smoking policy identifies e-cigarettes as a drug delivery device, making it forbidden on campus, Sullivan wrote.

Many students smoke e-cigarettes on campus, especially in the courtyards.

“It’s popular for students to smoke e-cigarettes because you can smoke anywhere,” said Geovanni Kwan, 21, computer science major.

E-cigarette makers have captured 10 percent to 14 percent of the 44 million tobacco users in the U.S., according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

Students who are caught smoking outside of the designated areas will be cited up to $75 and may also face student judicial proceedings, according to Chief Ron Levine of the district police department.

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