Health Services Encourages Students to Be Tobacco Free

Everett Bishop, Student Life Editor

The Great American Smokeout was held Thursday, Nov. 15. This year, an emphasis was placed on e-cigarettes and vape pens in order to curb popularity.

Schools across the state of Connecticut participate in this event which was created by the American Cancer Society to reduce the number of people who smoke. According to the University of New Haven health services event page on ChargerConnection, the hope is for, “people who smoke – give it up for one day. For those who do not smoke – support a smoker.”

“If you can stop for one day, maybe you can stop for two days, then three,” said Paula Cappuccia, director of health services.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States,” causing approximately 480,000 deaths per year. In a 2016 study, an estimated 37.8 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes.

“People think that just because they don’t taste tobacco, that it isn’t bad for them,” said Cappuccia. “But there are chemicals in those machines that we don’t know what they do.”

Chemicals found in vapes include cadmium and lead, which are both used in batteries, as well as formaldehyde, which is used to preserve dead bodies, and toluene, an ingredient in paint thinner. These chemicals can cause damage to your liver, nervous system, and overall health.Everett Bishop/ The Charger Bulletin

“The secondhand smoke from these vapes is actually more dangerous than smoking them,” said Cappuccia. “I walk through smoke on campus and in the grocery store.”

Juul, the e-cigarette that has gained popularity among adults and teens, has recently come under fire from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDC) for their fruit flavored pods and their social media advertising. This comes from the FDC’s statement that a “public health tragedy” is in the works, with so many teens being attracted to the advertisements and fruity flavors.