E-cigarettes don’t have the potent tobacco smell

By Chuck Zhang

Smokers and nonsmokers of Cal Poly disagree on several aspects
of last year’s new alternative to smoking traditional tobacco
cigarettes, the electronic cigarette.

“It is stupid,” said Nick Catt, a fourth-year psychology
student. “It is a bad substitute.”

E-cigarettes are generally made up of two components, a heating
device and a nicotine cartridge.

The heating device is placed where the tobacco is in traditional
cigarettes and the nicotine cartridge is where the cigarette butt
would be.

The nicotine cartridge contains a nicotine solution that
vaporizes as the smoker inhales air through the heating device.

The product, nicotine vapor, is inhaled into the smoker’s lungs,
mimicking the smoke created through the burning process of
traditional cigarettes.

The process does not yield many of the chemicals created through
the burning process of tobacco cigarettes.

The product is also odorless and non-lingering.

Although the secondhand smoke will not be a nauseate, the
majority of students on campus agree it is still unacceptable to
smoke any kind of cigarette indoors.

“It’s still smoking and I wouldn’t be comfortable with it if
someone smoked an e-cigarette next to me in class,” said Mercy
Daramola, an eight-year senior political science student.

For those students who do smoke, the concept is acceptable but
many of them are also uncomfortable with the idea of smoking

“I don’t want to run the risk of people asking me about it and
have to explain [how the e-cigarette works] every time,” said Ivan
Duran, first-year electrical engineering student.

“Also, it’s kind of expensive; I wouldn’t bother with it,” he

Since the e-cigarette is still not a widely used product, it is
tough to say whether or not it is safe or acceptable.

“I think that there needs to be more research,” said Jordan
Budisantoso, a fifth-year computer information systems student.

The manufacturers have not submitted their product for FDA
approval so they have not been able to rigorously test the

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not consider the
electronic cigarette to be a smoking cessation aid.

According to the FDA, “These products do not contain any health
warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products
or conventional cigarettes.”

Students who have tried the e-cigarette said it does not
accurately emulate a tobacco cigarette.

“The sensation is not the same,” said Joe Zhang, first-year
undeclared student. “The strongest nicotine cartridge is still weak
to me.”

Zhang chooses to continue using tobacco, and whether or not the
e-cigarette yields harmful chemicals or not, is not the

Reach Chuck Zhang at: lifestyle@thepolypost.com

E-cigarettes don

Illustration by Alli Kirkham

E-cigarettes don’t have the potent tobacco smell

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