Do you know what e-cigarettes are? “E-cigarette” is the shorthand for electronic cigarette. The Oxford Dictionaries define electronic cigarette as “a cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco.” E-cigarettes are battery-operated inhalers that consist of a rechargeable battery and a cartridge called a cartomizer. Nearly all e-cigarettes have nicotine in them, but vaporizer pens can be sold without nicotine in the juices that are bought separately for them. Although the two devices look like they do the same thing, there is a difference between an electronic cigarette and a conventional one. E-cigarettes use a liquid, called e-liquid, that is broken down and turned into a vapor that lets people get the nicotine they want. E-liquid is made up of nicotine, propylene glycol, and a range of flavors. There are over 120 different flavors.

Vape pens gradually heat up the material with warm air. As the warm air passes through the material, it’s set temperature vaporizes the ingredients. This allows them to be released without burning. E-cigarettes have not yet been added to Indiana’s statewide smoking ban, Breathe Easy Indiana. Additionally, schools around America are debating on whether or not to classify e-cigarettes and vape pens as drug paraphernalia on school grounds. Penn High School prohibits e-cigarettes on school grounds.

Marijuana itself can be “smoked” with vape pens, but the smell is hidden due to the fact that it is a vapor. But the THC levels are about 90% from a vape pen while from the actual plant itself contains about 20% THC. To read more, click this link. E-Cigarettes may not have real smoke, but that doesn’t mean that the ingredients in the solution can’t cause harm to your lungs. It does, in fact, cause inflammation to your lungs. This can result in a chronic cough or a raise in mucus. Electronic cigarettes can be a potential cause of asthma attacks and cause allergies to flare up. Additives, such as flavors, could cause you to have an allergic reaction to the e-cigarette. They may not irritate the lungs as much as a regular pack of cigarettes, but they can be sold with the same amount, or more, of nicotine. Nicotine is a poison that doesn’t have to be smoked or inhaled much to get nicotine poisoning. Prolonged exposure to nicotine can increase the risk of your arteries hardening up and possibly having a heart attack.

The state of Indiana has banned e-cigarettes being sold to anyone under the age of 18. The bill that bans sales to minors also established manufacturing safety standards and required child-proof and tamper-proof caps on containers. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoller and a coalition of health advocacy groups sent a letter to legislators on March 3rd urging that e-cigarettes be added to the 2012 state law that bans smoking in most public places, Breathe Easy Indiana. But e-cigarettes have grown in popularity and commercials. Businesses related to e-cigarettes, including vaping lounges, are popping up in cities across the state. Several owners of vaping-related businesses told senate committee members that it would cost them thousands of dollars to comply with the proposed regulations. The Senate Public Policy Committee voted 9-0 to endorse the House-backed proposal.

By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to