Are the U.S. citizens delusional regarding potential risks over electronic cigarettes? Some feel that their debut introduction in 2007 is a possible health risk. While there are others who claim that electronic cigarettes have assisted them in their fight to quit smoking.
Electronic cigarettes offer the nicotine-addicted an alternative to smoking tobacco. They have a similar look to cigarettes until you look inside. A mechanism heats up liquid nicotine that is converted into a vapor. The nicotine vapor is inhaled and gives the user the sensation of smoking.
Canyon School District attorney, Melissa Flores during an interview on KUTV news said, “Teachers are hearing a lot and seeing an increase in the electronic cigarettes. Students are passing them in the halls, exchanging them before classes.” The e-cigarette resembles the hookah pens or highlighter pens and can be hidden in pockets. In Utah, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 19 to purchase these cigarettes. Though not regulated and can be purchased on the internet, they do contain nicotine.
“We have no idea what the vapor nicotine is doing to the adolescent brains and can be a disciplinary issue. In the Canyon School District, we have a Tobacco Citation that can be issued by a Compliance Officer, A Resource Officer or a Principle. If the student is underage, they can be fined up to $60.00 in a juvenile court and be ordered by sanction of the court to attend a cessation program.” Flores said.
E-cigarettes are not required to be lit and therefore do not have an offensive odor. The vapor does come in flavors; Bubble gum, caramel, chocolate and strawberry, to name a few. Consumers currently using the device have made claim that they have saved money, it’s reusable and that they have found it beneficial in giving up the smoking habit.
According to the Centers for Disease control, 10 percent of high school students and 3 percent of middle school students have tried or use e-cigarettes. And that it is still unknown regarding the impact of nicotine on the development of the adolescent brain and risks from addiction.
“Some students have been complaining from headaches, abdominal pain, jittery, and fevers without chills,” Flores said. “Students don’t realize that liquid vapor nicotine is still nicotine. They seem to think that they can’t become addicted.” Regulatory agencies and some health experts are calling for proper research testing and that the e-cigarettes are deemed illegal until it has been shown that they’re safe.