Letter to the editor: Keep e-cigs out of classrooms

Shane Louis, DVC student

One of the latest trends on the Diablo Valley College campus is the use of electronic cigarettes, but the surfacing debate is whether they should carry the same restrictions as real cigarettes. Both faculty and students are affected daily by the use of cigarettes.

The discrepancies between real and electronic cigarettes are difficult to distinguish. Electronic cigarettes release nicotine in water vapor, which is then inhaled.  The FDA cannot regulate e-cigarettes at this time because they do not contain tobacco.  And because no tobacco is burned, electronic cigarettes do not produce an odor or smoke.

Real cigarettes are banned on the Pleasant Hill and San Ramon campuses with the exception of parking lots by DVC Procedure 2045.01, which attributes this to “the serious health risks associated with smoking…” These include addiction, cancer, damage to every organ in the body and death.

Matt Venazi, who has been a student at DVC for the past four years, believes that e-cigarettes are fine on campus, but should not be allowed indoors and especially not in classrooms.  He considers it a common courtesy to not smoke at all indoors.

We need to take it a step further, though, because there is a problem here that is deeper than common courtesy; we are allowing drug use.

Like tobacco cigarettes, electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine; nicotine is still a drug with addictive properties and negative effects, and if DVC is an institution committed to a healthy learning environment, then the consumption of drugs should not be a part of our campus.

Keep all cigarettes in the parking lot and out of our classrooms.