Up in smoke

Up in smoke

Don’t let it cloud your judgment, vaping might not be safer than smoking. 

Director of the Student Health Center Beth Beene said she is very worried about vaping due to the lack of oversight in the industry.

“It concerned me and all of my peers because it’s so unregulated. As a health professional, it’s very scary.” Beene said. “To find out now that people are dying from the flavors, and all the ads are focusing on this age group and younger.”

While the tobacco industry is in decline, the vaping industry is thriving, with nearly 19.3 billion dollars in sales according to the BBC. 

The American College Health Association stated that 80% of college students believe they have seen their friends or other students vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 12 deaths and 805 cases of lung illness related to vaping across the country.

Beene said that vaping isn’t the only problem on campus.

“I walk the campus, I see cigarettes everywhere,” Beene said. “We have a tobacco regulation that is not enforced.”

There are designated smoking areas on campus for students. However, some students continue to smoke or vape in non-designated areas. 

Sheriff Nick Saldivar occasionally comes across students who are smoking in non-designated areas. Saldivar said that they are usually respectful when he asks them to smoke in the designated smoking areas.

“Nine times out of ten, students have no problem going to smoke in the designated areas when asked to,” Saldivar said. “No student has yet to give me a problem.” 

Saldivar also said that they prefer to give students warnings instead of citations, because a citation’s financial burden could affect some students’ abilities to attend school.

Nursing student Andre Lin thinks the best way to reduce vaping on campus is through awareness.

“In terms of reducing it, I guess having more staff and security being mindful and watching people,” Lin said. “It’s really hard because it is such an open campus and there are a lot of people here.”