The University of Maine supports the findings of the U.S Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and passive, is a significant health hazard. To that end our campus is tobacco and smoke free, which includes tobacco products, anything which produces a vapor, and cannabis. For more details please see the policy below.
Traditional methods of tobacco use have completely changed, but the severity of the risks associated with use have not. eCigarettes such as Juul still contain nicotine, the addictive chemical present in traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco (pouches and loose).
Even though the smoke doesn’t look or smell as offensive as cigarette smoke, the risks are just as bad. A University of Michigan study seems to have found that vaping THC (the psychoactive agent in cannabis) puts the user at a higher risk of unhealthy respiratory symptoms.
Another study done by the Mayo Clinic looked at the biopsies of vape users. They found that the damage to the ungs was similar to direct exposure to toxic chemical fumes and poisonous gases.
Research is ongoing into vapes and their effects, but we have learned a few things so far:
- Vaping is not safer than other forms of tobacco use (it may even be more dangerous)
- THC use in vapes is also less safe than other methods
- As with everything else, always be sure what is in anything you consume. You should never use or buy a vape that was modified post-consumer
Oral Tobacco Use
Oral use of tobacco is not new by any means, but things have changed. Not a single oral form of tobacco (pouches, chew, etc) has been found to be any safer than any other form of tobacco use. They all contain nicotine, but the dangerous aspect is that manufacturers can manipulate the level of nicotine to unsafe levels.
Tobacco-free nicotine pouches may not contain tobacco, but they do have high levels of nicotine, the highly addictive substance found in other tobacco products.
These might seem harmless to use, but oral tobacco is also banned on all UMaine campuses.
The reason for the volume of materials and research into tobacco is the chemical nicotine. It is present in tobacco products and is highly addictive. A 2007 study found that the only more addictive drugs than nicotine are Heroine and Cocaine.
Billions are spent annually in the United States alone on products to assist tobacco users in quitting using tobacco. It can be difficult to quit smoking/vaping/chewing. Nicotine addiction is a serious thing. You have help, though.
QuitLink – The Maine QuitLink is an online resource to support Maine residents to be tobacco-free and to connect to tobacco treatment. The staff through the Maine QuitLink offer expert counseling and are committed to making a difference through support that can help you stay tobacco-free for life.
Maine Department of Health – The Maine Department of Health is a department of the CDC. They offer many resources and hotlines for anyone even slightly interested in quitting.