To read the FDA’s statistics and information on e-cigarettes, go to:


That vapor you’re inhaling from your e-cigarette or Juul? It’s not really vapor.

“What’s coming out is more similar of a can of Pam,” says Paula Collier, tobacco education coordinator for the Hamilton County Health Department, referring to the aerosol cooking spray.

Technically, it’s propylene glycol, a type of alcohol. Websites from the vaping industry downplay the effects of the compound, but Collier says they’re tap dancing around the truth.

“They say it’s safe for ingestion, but eating and breathing are two different things,” she says. “It’s actually particles that are harmful to the lungs and cause inflammation.”

Those problems extend to those standing nearby who inhale the vapor, similar to secondhand smoke, she says.

Because of those issues, vaping is one of the banned products when the UTC campus goes smoke-free on Jan. 1, 2019. It has always been part of the ban, which includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes; chewing tobacco is still allowed. The University of Tennessee in Knoxville implemented the same policy in August.

Logan Garrett, editor-in-chief at the University Echo, believes about 50 percent of vapers on campus don’t realize that it will be banned when the smoke-free policy goes into effect.

“The first thing they think of is cigarettes, and they don’t really consider their vaping devices as smoking devices,” he says.

He also notes that the most popular type of vaping device is a Juul, which fits in the palm of your hand and can quickly be stashed away. A Juul user himself, he says the device can make it difficult to identify the vaper.

“I can just tuck it in my front pocket and walk away from a cloud of smoke,” says Garrett, who recently wrote an editorial column in the Echo about the Juul and its rising popularity.

The concentration of nicotine in Juul is more than double the concentration found in other e-cigarettes, according the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General has declared that youth use of nicotine in any form is unsafe.

The Health Department’s Collier says there is a certain amount of risk reduction when comparing e-cigarettes to regular ones since an e-cigarette “doesn’t produce carbon monoxide because it’s not on fire.”

But nicotine is still found in the liquid used by e-cigarettes, depending on the brand, she says. Nicotine is addictive, she says, and also constricts the body’s blood vessels which can lead to such problems as high blood pressure and stroke.

This year, all packaging and advertising of e-cigarettes must have the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s warning about the possible addictiveness of nicotine.

Some liquids used in e-cigarettes are flavored, and there are questions on whether the ingredients used to make those may be dangerous, Collier says, citing cinnamon and menthol as two of the more common ones. The FDA has not issued any statements about the flavorings, pro or con.


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4 Comments » for Starting Jan. 1, 2019, vaping will not be allowed on campus
  1. George Cudabac says:

    As a former educator and volunteer for the American Lung Assoc. of SE Tennessee, I want to remind you and others that nicotine is the most addictive narcotic there is…even more so than heroin. Most young people don’t understand that the cancer causing elements found in tobacco & vaping products, that are ingested, is what is potentially deadly. And, the highly addictive nicotine amounts in the inhaled smoke is what prevents users from quitting. And, it is the only narcotic that is unregulated by any governing body…So, that just might be the reason it will never be outlawed, like other life threatening narcotics. People who get cancer keeps the medical and drug industries operational and profitable. Think about it !

  2. James Griffin says:

    If I only did those things that someone says are good for me, I wouldn’t be doing much of anything. Coffee? Bad. Then not so bad. Cholesterol? Horrible, eat an egg and you’ll die. Oops, that settled science has changed as well.

    I don’t advocate for smoking or vaping – nobody would. But I’m an adult. I wish “society” would stop dictating what I can and can’t do with fully legal substances.

  3. Scott Smitherman says:

    OK, let the nonsmoking students and employees win with invading our rights to do something that is not illegal. They already have the right to say no smoking inside buildings or 25 feet from entrances, but let them take it a BIG step step further and say no smoking whatsoever on campus. What students and employees who do smoke should do, is to fight back and enforce another policy that says NO SEX ON CAMPUS, this includes safe sex. Safe sex doesn’t guarantee no pregnancy or no STD transmission. I’m getting really tired of all these so-called ‘healthy’ policies in place while other potential healthy policies are ignored and would seem so unfair to so many.

  4. ABM says:

    Perfect example of the Nanny-State and left-wing ‘Church Ladies’ imposing their worldview and their morality on others, but it’s OK because it is ‘progressive.’ These are the same people who complain about the ‘religious right’ imposing our morality on them. My body my choice, am I right? Now before you start on your diatribe about second hand smoke, second hand smoke is only in issue in enclosed spaces not when smoke is defused in the open air.

    It’s interesting how no one has discussed the penalties which will be imposed on those for smoking on campus. Are you going to fine those who smoke? You’re going to have to because what is the point of a policy that is not enforced? There will have to be a penalty or this is all pointless. So here is the next issue, this is just a smoke screen for another revenue source for the university.

    So using the same argumentation of other left-wing sacred cows, “If you don’t want to have a cigarette, then don’t have one” and “Keep your laws off my alveoli.”