Editorial: IN THE LOOP Unknown risk of electronic cigarettes outweighs possible benefits

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, are becoming fairly popular with smokers trying to quit, smokers seeking out different flavors and even with younger people who aren’t smokers looking to start smoking traditional cigarettes but want the flavor that e-cigarettes provide.However, e-cigs are not as good as one may think. Granted, they lack a good majority of the chemicals and carcinogens that burning traditional tobacco has, but the chemicals in the liquids that e-cigs use have not been FDA tested. The $3 billion a year industry hawks itself as being healthier, but we honestly don’t know if what we are inhaling is any healthier than traditional cigarettes. Many e-cigarette smokers believe that because there hasn’t been a warning label placed on these products that it is OK to smoke them in buildings and other public spaces. Many buildings and airlines have banned e-cigs from being smoked in their facilities, due to the unknown risk factors of the secondhand smoke and the smoke itself.  Many people who do not want to inhale secondhand smoke from traditional cigarettes do not want to inhale the smoke from e-cigs. E-cigarettes should be banned from all campus buildings and be treated like traditional cigarettes, at least until the FDA tests e-cigarettes and determines if they are a health risk for both the smokers and people who potentially inhale the secondhand smoke.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.

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