Despite growing popularity, e-cigarettes not allowed on campus



Ken Miguel exhales e-cigarette vapor at The Vape Bar in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2013. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group/MCT)

By Fangyi Liu

When Austin Lim, senior in LAS, was a freshman at the University, he tried electronic cigarettes for the first time. His friends were using vaporizers because they wanted to quit smoking, so Lim decided to try e-cigarettes just for fun.

“Some of my friends seemed to enjoy it,” he said. “I used to like all of the fruit flavoring, and the smoke looks real. I think that’s why people use it to quit smoking.”

Despite common belief that vaporizers help cigarette smokers quit the drug, only 29 percent of people who tried e-cigarettes quit smoking in six months, according to Statistic

“I highly doubt the fact vaporizers help quit smoking because all of my friends who thought this way went back to traditional, regular cigarettes after trying the vaporizers,” Lim said.

The University adopted a Smoke-Free Campus Policy in 2014, which prohibited people from smoking on campus. Although vaporizers are not the same as cigarettes, they are still just as harmful. Because of this, the University also prohibited the use of e-cigarettes on campus property. ss

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“The tobacco industry heavily markets e-cigarettes as a cessation device although they have not been approved by the FDA for this purpose,” the smoke-free campus Web page stated. “Allowing them in our policy may lead many smokers to turn to e-cigarettes as a cessation device, possibly unknowingly harming their health.”

Electronic cigarettes are smoking sets that vaporize ingredients such as tobacco, herbs or flavored blends for inhaling purposes. They work with different extraction chambers that are commonly made of glass or metal and from which the heated ingredient gas is released.

To have the same smoking effects as cigarettes, vaporizers are battery-supported and use either pure chemicals or mixed plants. Three kinds of vaporizers are currently on the market: electronic vaporizers, marijuana vaporizers and medical vaporizers. Out of the three options, e-cigarettes are most commonly seen and more easily carried around.

Many students on campus, however, are disillusioned by this trend and do not want to smoke vaporizers despite the devices’ growing popularity.

“I will never try cigarettes in any situation,” said Siyang Liu, sophomore in Engineering. “No matter if it is electronic cigarette or water vapor with chemicals, smoking is bad for your health.”

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Editor’s note: A previous version of this article quoted a questionable source. Due to the uncertainty surrounding this source, The Daily Illini has retracted it completely. The Daily Illini regrets the error.