E-cigarettes, more commonly known as e-cigs, are currently not as heavily regulated as regular tobacco products in Minneapolis. However, e-cigs should be treated the same as tobacco products and should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
According to a recent article in the Star Tribune, Minneapolis City Councilman Cam Gordon has proposed that vapor-producing devices be placed in the same category as regular cigarettes. New restrictions on e-cigs in Minneapolis would expand on a recent change to state law that prohibits the use of e-cigs around and in hospitals, schools and public universities.
I agree with the proposed ordinance that e-cigs should be treated the same as conventional tobacco products because their long-term health effects are mostly unknown. The only experiences I’ve had with e-cigs are high school and college students trying to look cool. However, I have heard that some cigarette smokers are using e-cigs as a product to help quit smoking. The main issue is that the nicotine inside the cartridges is still addictive and they have not been FDA-approved as a device to help quit smoking.
The student government should also crack down on the use of e-cigs and help make it known that they are included in the campus’s smoke- and tobacco-free policy. The ban has seemingly had little effect on students, as use on campus is still widespread. The thick ashy smell of secondhand smoke has not disappeared, but instead it has been replaced by unknown chemical odors.
E-cigs are new, and their full impact on health remains unknown. Until more research is done on the effects of secondhand “vapor,” these devices should be treated just like tobacco products everywhere. Smoking shouldn’t become cool again.
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