The effects of second hand vapor remain unknown, but we should take steps to protect nonsmokers.
Marketed as a tobacco-less method of smoking where lighting up would otherwise be banned, the use of pen-style electronic cigarette devices is becoming prevalent in restaurants, stores and here on campus.
But considering what we know about the harm of second hand smoke, regulation of these devices should very closely mirror that of nicotine-related burning smoke.
Research concerning the effects of e-cigarette vapors on nonsmokers remains hazy, but we cannot gamble with the public’s health by curtailing regulation until studies come up with definitive answers.
The democratic process allows for legislation to be repealed once it has been found unnecessary.
If e-cigarettes are found to be harmless to nonsmokers, then users have that avenue to reverse restrictions on their vaping privileges.
However, if these devices indeed result in ill effects on those unintentionally exposed to its vapors— effects such as emphysema, stroke and lung cancer —nothing in our political process or even our current medical technology would reverse such results.