Students, Leave Your Vapes at Home

Vaping is not allowed on California Lutheran University’s campus and should not be allowed in the future.

Not only does vaping put someone at risk for addiction– it poses several health consequences for consumers and the people around them. Denoted as a “tobacco product” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, vape devices have unknown long-term effects.

The plumes of aerosol that can be purchased in flavors like bubblegum or mint have been proven to damage your blood vessels as well as weaken your immune system, according to Truth, a campaign dedicated to spreading awareness of the dangers of smoking.

Personally, that is not a risk I am willing to take when it comes to my health. In August 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 20 American adults use vape products. I do not know why you would want to negatively affect your health just to stay up to date with a popular trend.

Findings from a study by Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University Jessica Fetterman suggest that vaping is tied to increased inflammation and other early symptoms of cardiovascular disease, which could lead to heart attack and stroke, according to Newsweek.

It is also important to note that one JUUL pod, a popular brand of vaping device, is equivalent to 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine, according to Truth. Because of this, if you vape you are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes.

It is difficult to wrap my head around the fact that someone would purposely do this to their body, when there is evidence out there that clearly explains the risks.

As stated in the Cal Lutheran student handbook, any vaporizer pens, e-cigarettes or cartridges that may support the device are strictly prohibited on campus.

Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Chris Paul said one reason these devices are not allowed in the residence halls is because they are not regulated in ways the school is comfortable with.

“Some can blow up and explode, and that could be problematic for sure in the residence halls if there were an explosion or a fire,” Paul said.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather be safe than sorry that my vape caught on fire.

Vape devices are also not allowed on campus because they can be used for the consumption of illegal substances like THC oils, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct Salma Loo said.

“It’s hard to tell what it’s being used for, especially with how they make them these days,” Loo said.

Sure, vaping is seen as the better alternative to smoking cigarettes, but that still does not mean they are healthy. It is worth mentioning that vaping, like smoking cigarettes, still results in secondhand smoke.

Environmental health researcher Wolfgang Schober found that “vaping worsened indoor air quality, specifically by increasing the concentration of nicotine, particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aluminum, compounds that have been linked to lung and cardiovascular disease and cancer, among other health effects.”

It is important to take into consideration the health and well-being of others. Why would someone choose to put others at risk for serious health problems when they are not even the ones who are vaping?

Many people may argue that vaping is used as a coping mechanism, but there are healthier ways to cope.

Loo said she would suggest that students reach out to offices around campus like Wellness Resources, which can help students gain access to information and resources about their well-being.

“I would just encourage students to really educate themselves about the health risks associated with vaping before they make that choice,” Loo said.

Currently, the residence life policy is enforced by campus safety and resident assistants, Paul said. If a student is found to be vaping, residence life will conduct a policy review, but further disciplinary actions are determined on a case by case situation.

For the well-being and safety of yourself and those around you, please do not bring your vape to school.

Leanna Kontos