Letter: Advocate for better e-cig policies for students

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The National Institute for Drug Use reports that seven in 10 teens were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements, leading to e-cigarette usage among 1.4 million youths. In addition, there are over 7,700 unique flavors for e-cigs, with around 240 new flavors being added monthly. This extensive variety of flavors appeals to and is directly marketed toward youths. The emergence of vapes and JUULs among youths has led to an e-cigarette crisis that needs our attention.

The NIH reports that 86.8 percent of youth e-cigarette users range from those thinking these products contain only flavoring or water vapor to those having no idea. Anyone can buy a JUUL in Asheville from a kiosk in the mall or online without having to give an ID. The Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools policy codes state that e-cigarettes are prohibited within schools and consequences may include restorative justice programs, but these programs are extremely vague, and there have been no signs of follow-through.

As a high school student in Asheville, I can verify that at least a few students JUUL in class every day. Students will take a hit of their JUUL and then exhale into their backpack or sweatshirt sleeve. Too many of these users don’t know the health determinants that they’re risking when they JUUL. Each JUUL pod contains 0.7 milliliters of nicotine (a highly addictive and very dangerous chemical). Each pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. So as you can see, this “harmless and healthier” smoking alternative is neither harmless nor healthier.

Advocate for comprehensive and specific e-cigarette policies, so that we not only add regulations but also educate teachers, students and parents about the immense dangers that e-cigarettes are accompanied by.

— Ella Carlinnia
Youth staff
YES! (Youth Empowered Solutions)


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17 thoughts on “Letter: Advocate for better e-cig policies for students

  1. boatrocker

    Any e cig user I meet always tells me it is so much more healthy than
    a real cig. Riiiiight..
    I look forward to having them outlawed everywhere so
    millennials don’t stink up every single room with the odor equivalent of
    an 8 year old girl’s first bottle of My Little Pony grape perfume.

    What I find even more ironic is that any teacher worth their NaCl
    can’t identify that smell over all the Axe Body Spray and post-gym class
    rank in a classroom.

    We all knew exactly which teachers and students smoked in high school but
    1) nobody cared and
    2) we lived and let live.
    I must be old.

    • Lulz

      That’s called freedom. Treating smokers like lepers is wrong. Banning it completely from private businesses is wrong. They should have a choice to allow it or not. There are plenty of non-smoking places but not one that allows it. How insane is that?

      I see kids smoking cigs across the street from Asheville High all the time.

      • luther blissett

        The bloodless argument is that we all pay for the cost of treating preventable lung cancer and heart disease and COPD, whether in our insurance premiums or our payroll taxes, and that there is a valid public health rationale to ensure as few people start smoking as possible, and that those who want to quit have the resources to do so, just as there is a valid public health rationale to limit the “freedom” of anti-vax parents to expose their children and their children’s peers to diseases that can and will kill them.

        The touchy-feely argument is that lung cancer is a terrible way to die, and smoking is a thief that robs people, their families, and their friends every day. There is no sense of freedom in a chemo ward. There is no sense of freedom at a funeral that comes 20 years before it should.

        • Lulz

          LOL you pay for the healthcare of illegals who come on over right before giving birth to their brand new US citizen. They of course are celebrated by leftist as a positive to the nation. Not the negative economic vampires they really are.

          Either ban cigs or stop with the nonsense. You cannot treat smokers like 2nd class citizens but still love the taxes they pay.

          BTW obese people are now the biggest drain on healthcare. When do you ban them from the buffet or ban them altogether? Do you make it illegal for them to order fries or do you ban them too? Cause that’s what you’ll have to do. and once that happens, the sheer lunacy of treating people like lepers in order to shame them will backfire. Especially when they realize that money is being spend on illegals who do nothing but take.

          • luther blissett

            Lung cancer really is a terrible way to die. Especially after it metastasizes and starts robbing you of your dignity as well as the years you expected to enjoy as a parent or grandparent.

  2. CK Smith

    Well for starters, it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase .

    • boatrocker

      Really? Like an underaged kid can’t bribe someone of age to do it for them?
      Did you go to high school?

      • C Smith

        Yes. And college and grad school. There is a reason for laws. Does a “policy” seem to have more teeth to you? BTW, it isn’t a policy on here that every comment you make must be snarky.

        • boatrocker

          You and I hung with different crowds in high school then.
          I had zero @#$%^ to give as I did not care to align myself for cliques.
          I watched my friends hang outside gas stations with cash in hand trying to bribe some adult to buy them beer/cigs and for watching it I kind of felt a bit unclean.
          I also had zero problem for second hand smoke as I knew that air, soil, water and food was dirty for Reagan era deregulation.
          I rolled the dice then as I do now.

          I tried few brewskis senior year but always managed not to be the poor guy asking over 21 types (thanks Reagan) to buy them. So what. Someone drinks or smokes themselves to death. As long as they don’t leave a family behind for bills to be paid.

          This also from a college and grad school guy.
          Yes a policy seems more reasonable, snark for snark.

          NC in my prediction will be the absolute last state to ever legalize
          the Mary Jane (not Spider Man’s main squeeze) and I am so sure that
          for social media outrage of the week, for every person that lights up there
          will be a person who fake coughs like a World Cup soccer player who pretends to be injured on the field. Snarky enough for ya?

  3. luther blissett

    “nicotine (a highly addictive and very dangerous chemical)”

    Nicotine is indeed highly addictive. In large doses, it is indeed dangerous. But nicotine isn’t a cause of lung cancer or COPD or heart disease. So the comparison isn’t exactly valid unless you want to say that a pack of nicotine gum is also equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.

    Harm reduction is generally a good thing: someone who replaces a more harmful nicotine addiction with a less harmful one is going to be better off. The popularity of Juul and other pod e-cigs among teens is more of an issue, because it picks up those who probably wouldn’t have started smoking along with those who in previous generations would be huddling round the back of the gym showing off their Zippos. (It also creates a black market for kids who can get hold of pods.) Research and regulation can address some of this.

    • boatrocker

      Maybe I went to a weird high school, but every time
      someone would do ‘tricks’ with a Zippo
      (like you caught a tiger and trained it
      to roll over and count),
      everybody at a party would whisper
      “Yep, cannon fodder for the next war”.

    • Lulz

      LOL how’s that war on drugs going for you lulz? I heard it’s illegal to possess coke, meth, smoke dope, get pills on the downlow and yet we have issues LOL. When are you going to realize that buffoonery laws dictated by elitist buffoons in their swank buildings with their buffoon college degrees are worthless? Especially when you hold many to absolutely no standards at all depending on their color, nationality, citizenship status, sex, sexual preference, self gender description, and how popular they are in culture? And let’s not forget, hold others accountable on the same standards as being privileged and therefore subject to taxation, fines, imprisonment, and even death.

      • boatrocker

        Hot dog! Sounds like Lulz wants legalized drugs for a failed drug war!
        Finally, we got him on our side.

        For Reagan’s war on drugs in the 80’s, disproportionally a majority of small time offenders were blacks selling a dime bag to a friend and given extra long sentences for prison for being black and non-violent. But there aren’t enough prisons to house all the non-violent first offense drug offenders.

        Answer? Privative prisons to make $ hand over fist for Wall St., then pump $ into Congress to elect those that want maximum sentencing for low level non-violent drug crimes.

        Then quote statistics that black disproportionately commit drug offense in ‘Murica to justify their lock upedness…

        Then fast forward to 2018 where GOP funded Wall St funded pharmy companies
        over-prescribe opiates for Trump’s voter base (basssssket full of deplorables for popular vote) and scream “Ohhhhhhh nooooo, Whitey is now hooked on opioids much like the FBI flooding the streets with heroin/coke in the 70’s as an excuse to look up Blackey. Be sure to ignore the pharmy companies
        and doctors who over=prescribe like you ignored
        the CIA importing coke ala 1980s Iran Contra Affair,

        Why, GOP, praytell why is not every first time white trailer trash opiate-addicted
        neck tattooed type not in a jail cell next to an 18 year old black kid who sold a bag of weed to an undercover cop?

        And people are whining about a teen smoking a cig?

        Drumroll please……………………………………….
        Doubllllllllllllllle Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandard!

        • luther blissett

          Turn back the clock far enough and you have the racial panic that turned most of those drugs from white folks’ remedies — heck, I remember seeing an old bottle of laudanum proudly on display at the Old Fort museum — into terrible illegal things.

          • boatrocker

            My theory IMHO, America doesn’t give a fart about dangerous drugs throughout our history. We like having a little fun.
            You mention laudanum (prominently featured in Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” to calm down the good doctor- yes I know Shelly was a Brit).
            Rolling the weed ’round the campfire as a soldier, desert SW during Indian Removal traded from Mexicans- no prob
            Sketchy moonshine made in the radiator of a Ford Model T- no prob
            Cocaine in your soda pop or Rx from the pharmacy- no prob
            Heroin/hash/opium in a brothel San Francisco early 1900’s- no problem
            Ronald Reagan selling Chesterfields- no problem

            But then along came jazz….
            then it was a big problem for America. Something about that beat, and black people playing music that made your white girlfriend dance and suddenly drugs are an epidemic that needed to be addressed ASAP.
            Same with blues, rock n roll, heavy metal, rap, hip hop.
            ‘Murica seems to say ‘do all the drugs you want, especially GOP controlled Wall St. (Sniff), but so help me sometimes-God when it is convenient, my white daughters will not dance to music made by those on the same drugs!

            The Elvis/Rush Limbaugh pill poppers? Poor guy, he has a problem.
            The black kid smoking a joint in the privacy of his own home?
            Lock him up, lock him up!

  4. Jason

    What’s a JUUL? It would be nice if the writer defined this. I don’t care enough to look it up, but it would have made for a better op piece.

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