Electronic cigarettes allow students to side-step no smoking rules
Ryan Prystash has gotten his nicotine fix a couple of times in the residence halls.
But not with regular cigarettes, chewing tobacco or cigars.
Instead, he smokes electronic cigarettes.
“I started about a month ago,” said Prystash, a New Baltimore freshman.
With the e-cig, there is no fire, tar, ash or carbon monoxide.
It’s about the same size as a regular cigarette, only with a few modifications.
The end where the cigarette is normally lit is where the battery is located. The part which is held by the smoker is the cartridge containing water laced with nicotine.
“The cartridges can be plugged into an outlet,” he said. “I even charged one of them from my laptop.”
Prystash said using the cigarettes inside a residence hall has caused some confusion.
“I was smoking in my room when an RA passed by,” Prystash said. “She started freaking out until I pulled it apart and showed her what it was.”
He said the RA then allowed him to continue smoking.
However, the popularity of the product does present an issue of how it conforms to the rules in no-smoking areas of campus.
“We have had no complaints yet,” said Shaun Holtgreive, associate director of Residence Life. “The FDA is still figuring out how to regulate them.”
Currently students can smoke e-cigs on campus without being held to the standards of regular cigarettes, he said.
“We don’t have enough info now,” Holtgreive said. “We’ll probably make a decision about them by next fall.”
The starter pack costs around $60, and comes with two batteries and six cartridges, which contain different flavors, Prystash said.
“It’s a good alternative for those trying to quit,” said Jonathan Grinter, a Farmington Hills freshman.
Grinter said he hasn’t received any complaints about his electronic smoking yet.
“I’ve smoked mine in class, the dorm and outside,” Grinter said. “They don’t smell and last longer than the real thing.”
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