Subject: A Moment of your time please...
Dear Alan Schuman and Michael Kiphart,
I live in West Virginia and am not a student of Carroll Community College but I am a concerned individual and I would like to ask that you please take a few moments of your time to read over the following letter.
I recently learned of a School wide ban that has recently gone into effect but appears to have done so with prejudice and possibly due to lack of substantial information on the matter.
With all due respect, and no offense to Carroll Community College, its Board members, or affiliates;
This Great Country was founded on the principals of Democracy and in matters such as this, where a governing body makes a final decision regarding individual freedoms and/or rights without hearing and considering the voice of the other side, in this case the students, it becomes an act of oppression.
Realizing your school is funded in part by the State of Maryland, let us first take a look at the current regulations in Maryland regarding "Smoking" in work places, public places, and State facilities:
REGULATION: 09.12.23, Title 09 DEPT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION, Subtitle 12 DIVISION OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, Chapter 23 Prohibition on Smoking in an Enclosed Workplace, Authority: Labor and Employment Article, 2-106(b)(4) and 5-312, Annotated Code of Maryland.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) Enclosed Workplace.
(iv) A conference and meeting room;
(v) A classroom;
(vi) A cafeteria operated by an employer for use by its employees;
(vii) A hallway;
(2) "Smoking" means to use or carry any lighted:
(c) Pipe; or
(d) Other tobacco product of any kind.
State Board of Education Regulations
B. Terms Defined.
(a) "Tobacco" means products derived from the tobacco plant that are smoked, chewed, sniffed, or otherwise consumed.
(b) "Tobacco" does not include nicotine replacement therapy.
.03 Tobacco Use.
The sale or use of tobacco in any form is prohibited in school buildings at all times. In addition, the sale or use of tobacco in any form is prohibited on school grounds during the official school day.
.08 Substance Use or Distribution.
A. Alcohol and Other Drugs. Students are prohibited from possessing or using, or both, alcohol or other drugs without a physician's prescription, in any form on the school premises.
B. Tobacco. Students are prohibited from possessing or using tobacco in any form on the school premises.
C. Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy. Consistent with Regulations .11—.15 of this chapter, COMAR 13A.08.02, and other applicable law, a local board of education shall adopt a policy on alcohol and other drug use or possession, or both, by students,
The term "tobacco in any form" clearly does not apply to e-cigarettes. In fact, the statutes provide that these regulations DO NOT apply to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT
). Further; E-Cigarettes do not fall under the category of NRT
as they are not regulated by, issued by, or prescribed by any medical board or associate, or by the FDA
, and are in no way indicated as an NRT
. They are simply a form of personal nicotine replacement which has been proven to be much less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
I would also like to add that banning such items from school premises leaves an open end to the Constitutional Rights of every person to be free in their own domains which may include places of dwelling by students on premises/campus.
Although named "E-Cigarettes", these devices are not "Cigarettes" and do not produce "Smoke", therefore, are not "Tobacco and Smoking Products" and should not be included in bans against traditional smoking or tobacco related products. Likewise, in reviewing your policies on smoking and tobacco use, E-Cigarettes would not fall under the "Tobacco and Smoking Products" definitions stated.
Furthermore, an attempt to ban e-cigarettes under a guise of creating a "nicotine-free" environment would be unconstitutional because, although they may contain nicotine, so do NRT
's. Therefore, an NRT
would have to be included in such bans due to providing nicotine, which would be against the law of a "Nicotine-free Environment".
Now for a little education regarding E-Cigarettes, which as a "School of Higher Learning", CCC should welcome and appreciate.
Although nicotine is an addictive stimulant, it is not a drug (per se). It is an organic compound found to occur naturally in a variety of food sources and plants including tobacco, and is quite similar to the caffeine in coffee. Also, with the lower nicotine level e-liquids available, including "0%", people who choose to do so, may be able to eventually wean themselves off of not only cigarettes but nicotine as well.
E-cigarettes emit Vapor, not Smoke.
1) Smoke is the "chemical" reaction of combustion brought about by burning various products. The smoke from a cigarette contains more than 4000+ known chemicals, the majority of which are known to cause/contribute to cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs, causes/contributes to COPD, Emphysema, Heart Disease, and many other very serious, and often irreversible, health related issues.
2) Vapor is the change in physical state of a liquid to a gas. This "gas" can be equated with steam from a hot shower or cup of hot coffee. The Vapor produced by an e-cigarette does not contain the harmful chemicals found in cigarette (and other) smoke, as the liquid is not burned, it is vaporized.
Do the "Cigarette Test" for yourself - you know - the one they did years ago blowing smoke through a handkerchief - I did it and the reality will surprise you as it did me...
Cigarette Smoke leaves a nasty brown, sticky film in the cloth, the major composition of which is Tar. E-Cigarette vapor leaves behind only a clear, water based fluid with minute traces of glycerin (natural sugars) that dries clean within a few minutes.
Cigarettes contain more than 4000+ known chemicals, too numerous to list here, but include:
Acetaldehyde, Acetone, Benzene, Butyraldehyde, Cadmium, Carbon Monoxide, Chromium, Cresol, Formaldehyde, Hydrogen Cyanide, Isoprene, Lead, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), Nickel, Phenol, Toluene, and thousands more.
E-Cigarette liquids contain Five organic compounds:
1) Propylene Glycol, U.S.P. (PG
) - an organic compound naturally found in many foods, including almost all food flavorings, and is used in asthma inhalers and other medicines. U.S.P. stands for "United States Pharmacopeia" and signifies that a product is safe for human consumption in foods and other applications.
2) Vegetable Glycerin - an organic sugar compound naturally found in many food sources.
3) Food Flavorings - many of which are natural, and are generally used in making candy and other foods. Many of the food flavorings used in the making of e-liquid also contain no food colorings.
4) Distilled Water (sometimes)
5) Nicotine - an alkaloid compound found in tobacco, tomatoes, some hot peppers, and other consumable plants.
In a study conducted by CSA (ClearStream-AIR project), a 60 m3 closed-room was used for the experiment. Two sessions were organized, the first using 5 smokers and the second using 5 users of e-cigarettes. Both sessions lasted 5 h. Between sessions, the room was cleaned and ventilated for 65 h. Smokers used cigarettes containing 0.6 mg of nicotine while e-cigarette users used commercially available liquid with nicotine concentration of 11 mg/ml. The study measured total organic carbon (TOC), toluene, xylene, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), nicotine, acrolein, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), glycerin and propylene glycol levels on the air of the room.
1) During the smoking session, 19 cigarettes were smoked, administering 11.4mg of nicotine (according to cigarette pack information).
2) During the e-cigarette session, 1.6 ml of liquid was consumed, administering 17.6 mg of nicotine.
3) During the smoking session the study found: TOC=6.66 mg/m3, toluene=1.7 µg/m3, xylene=0.2 µg/m3, CO=11 mg/m3, nicotine=34 µg/m3, acrolein=20 µg/ml and PAH=9.4 µg/m3. No glycerin, propylene glycol and NOx were detected after the smoking session.
4) During the e-cigarette session the study found: TOC=0.73 mg/m3 and glycerin=72 µg/m3. No toluene, xylene, CO, NOx, nicotine, acrolein or PAHs were detected on room air during the e-cigarette session.
Essentially, and in reality, cigarette second hand smoke is shown to contain and distribute high levels of harmful chemicals and nicotine, while e-cigarette "second hand vapor" is shown to only produce a fractionally safe amount of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and "0" Nicotine. Therefore, no one can even be affected by nicotine in the air from being in close proximity to an e-cigarette in use. This alone is proof that e-cigarettes are much safer than traditional cigarettes.
Although nicotine is found in most e-cigarettes and most e-cigarette fluids, and although the nicotine's primary source may be tobacco (although many other sources have been identified), the e-cigarettes and fluids themselves are not a Tobacco Product and as such, do not belong in bans against smoking and other tobacco related products.
The main reason behind the march against e-cigarettes is predominantly coming from huge pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA
who approve, endorse, and market smoking cessation products that simply do not work and often end in the smoker returning to cigarette use. When coupled with the fact that millions of sufferers with smoke related health issues must seek medical care in regards to those issues, it stands to reason that the medical and pharmaceutical industry would want e-cigarettes banned because they pose a threat to the massive profits being generated from medical care and from keeping "approved" products that don't work on the market.
It’s well documented that currently available NRT
(nicotine replacement therapy) treatments for smokers, such as patches and gums, are largely ineffective, with only a mere 7% to 12% success rate after 12 months of use. This is largely due to the fact that most smokers aren’t just addicted to the nicotine; they are addicted to the actual habit and ritual of smoking a cigarette. E-cigarettes have a tendancy to satisfy all such addicitons.
In Closing -- E-Cigarettes are a much safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Vapor is Not Smoke. Banning e-cigarettes simply because they are a source of nicotine delivery is a step to banning food sources that naturally contain nicotine, and banning other forms of nicotine replacement. Nicotine is similar to caffeine and therefore, banning a nicotine product in claiming it is a drug is a step to banning coffee and cola softdrinks due to caffeine content. Banning e-cigarettes and taking them from those who wish to avoid 4000+ (proven) dangerous and potentially life threatening chemicals is in essence, forcing them back to the habit they would like to give up and/or pushing them toward using expensive and ineffective methods to rid their use of traditional cigarettes.
I was a smoker for 34+ years and as of October 13, 2012, have been 1 month and 15 days smoke-free, have saved an estimated $208.00, and have avoided 1,386 cigarettes. I no longer suffer all day coughing, I do not wheeze at night, I do not suffer shortness of breathe as I once did, I can interact with my children for longer than 10 minutes without getting worn out, food tastes better, I no longer have the nasty mess of tar or ashes all over my home, car, or clothing, and I don't have to worry about burning my children, myself, or my home.
Personally, I wish they would have had this years ago... maybe my mother would still be alive today and not have developed emphysema and COPD (which I was likewise diagnosed with in 1994) from her 2.5+ pack a day habit.
Please, I would like to ask on behalf of your student body, that you do your students a great service by NOT including terminology regarding e-cigarettes in your School-wide Tobacco and Smoking Products Policy and allow those who choose to be smoke free, the choice of method which may include E-Cigarette use.
Thank you for your time.
(real name used)