University should ban cigarettes, allow e-cigs

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff.

Smoking sucks. People shouldn’t do it.

Because St. Edward’s antiquated policies allow smoking on campus, the university should at least ban cigarettes and instead allow students to smoke e-cigs. Whether smoking is allowed on campus in order to cater to different cultural traditions or because it looks cool, e-cigs can do the job without bothering those who don’t smoke.

We, on the editorial board, don’t really care if individuals want to smoke cigarettes, but we don’t like it because it affects us too. Our lungs are not made of steel and our olfactories work just fine. This means we can get irritated by the horrid smell of cigarette as we’re trying to enjoy coffee outside Jo’s, and we inhale second-hand smoke that will kill us faster than all the caffeine we’re consuming.

Now, there’s a new phenomenon. E-cigs. For those of you who don’t know, e-cigs, also known as electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-powered cigarette-looking vaporizers. Their product is a mist instead of cigarette smoke.

Because it’s a mist, people still aren’t too sure where to use them. So far, the law isn’t exactly sure either. Last year, one of the editorial board members even had a friend who would smoke his e-cig in the dorms with no repercussion. One member recalls seeing a group of students sitting inside of the Dujarie lounge smoking their e-cigs without care.

Of course, the majority of smokers still keep it outside. This semester, the campus is filled with e-cig smokers, who casually smoke outside of Jo’s, Trustee and Moody.

E-cigs are better than cigarettes.

If someone smokes an e-cig, you don’t have smell it from three tables over like you do a cigarette. Even when sitting next to a smoker, the effects of second-hand smoke are lessened.

Yes, most electronic cigarettes do still use nicotine, but according to a University of South Carolina study, there is a 10-fold decrease in overall exposure to carcinogenic particulate matter.

The National Institute on Drug Abuses did state that e-cigs might promote the continuation of addiction to nicotine. So, smoking still sucks for the smoker whose body must deal with the chemicals he or she is ingesting, but it’s substantially less of a pain for everyone else.

According to Action on Smoking and Health, approximately 60 percent of e-cig smokers are smokers (cigarette or other), and the majority of the rest are ex-smokers. So, not only are e-cigs taking annoying cigarette smokers (not that smokers are all annoying, but the ones that are) away from the masses and placing a much less bothersome object in their hands.

Smoke e-cigs or don’t, but if you are smoking cigarettes, do it when you’re by yourself or with other smokers. Do what you want with your body, just don’t let it affect everyone else.