An increasingly popular smoking alternative has captured the attention of young adults, specifically across college campuses.
The use of vaporizers (the act referred to as “vaping”) has become a much more prevalent practice among college students.
Vaporizers typically come in two different styles, with different uses – as an e-cigarette and for marijuana. More often than not, e-cigarette vaporizers are used.
The act is done through a battery-powered e-cigarette pen built for mobility, where e-liquids are placed inside. When exhaled, a thick, white, cloudy vapor is released, with a distinct scent, depending on the liquid inside them.
The idea of this is for users to experience the sensation of smoking without the burn or taste that comes with tobacco from cigarettes. Though the health benefits of vaping opposed to smoking are unknown, many have found that the act has helped them transition away from cigarettes.
However, the act of vaping is not allowed on SVSU’s campus – a policy that has some students questioning the University’s current stance.
According to SVSU’s “3.3-2 Smoke-Free Environment Policy,” all university facilities are smoke-free, including e-cigarettes or any product whose sole purpose is to mimic tobacco.
“Saginaw Valley State University recognizes free choice in the matter of smoking,” the policy reads. “However, it recognizes a more fundamental right of the majority population of non-smokers to breathe clean air.”
Regardless of the University’s already-established stance, the argument behind the allowance of vaping on campus stems primarily from the vapor being omitted.
Graphic design junior and vaper Joshua Fox is among those who feel the University should alter their policy.
“It’s [hard] not being able to vape inside,” Fox said. “I could understand inside a classroom, but between classes or in the hallways I feel that I should be allowed to. It’s going to start getting cold, and I don’t want to vape where I’m going to freeze.”
Fox also said that, due to the negative stigma that vaping causes, he has experienced mixed reactions by non-vapers.
“Responses have been both good and bad,” Fox said. “Sometimes I get a nasty look from other students, but other people either don’t mind or compliment me on how the vape looks or the smell of the juices.”
Additionally, electrical engineering freshman Connor Howard agreed with Fox’s sentiments about the practice, encouraging those who vape to ask first to ensure a more accepting environment.
“The vapor itself isn’t harmful,” Howard said. “If someone doesn’t want me to do it, I stop immediately. However, I always ask before vaping.”