The University of Mississippi adopted a Smoke Free and Tobacco Free Campus Policy in December 2020.
Use of Vapes on College Campuses
Many students have the misconception that vaping causes minimal harm, and that vapes are a safe way to consume nicotine. In 2015, the US Surgeon General reported e-cigarette use among high school students had increased 900% over the last four years (CDC, 2019). The reality is that e-cigarettes expose them to many of the same carcinogens and toxic substances that they would encounter while smoking a traditional cigarette. Vapes, also known as e-cigarettes, function by heating e-liquid and converting it to a vapor which is then inhaled. Many students who vape enjoy this aspect of vape use, as it gives them the ability to choose from the thousands of eliquid flavors available for purchase today, but they do not realize that vaping exposes them to rarely discussed risks. In 2019, the CDC identified a new lung disease referred to as e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI). As of 2020, CDC has confirmed thousands have been hospitalized due to EVALI with 60 individuals dying from this new disease (CDC, 2020).
E-cigarette companies have confessed that they do not fully understand what chemical reactions occur when e-liquid is vaporized, but research has shown that there are few “safe” chemicals involved in the process. One study comparing e-cigarettes to traditional cigarettes found that the contents of e-liquid are composed of numerous heavy metals and other pollutants (Samburova, et al., 2018). A government study determined that e-cigarette users were being exposed to the metals contained in the heating element of the vape, which is generally a coil located near the mouthpiece of the vape. Heating coils were found to have imparted aluminum, nickel, titanium, uranium, copper, and zinc into the e-liquid during the heat vaporization process (Ween, Thredgold, Reynolds, & Hodge, 2019). In addition to exposing their airways and other tissues to harmful chemicals, there is the added risk of the device potential overheating, and potentially even leading to a lethal explosion. There is no safe way to vape, but vape use, and the accompanying nicotine addiction can be overcome using the same practices used during traditional smoking cessation.
If you or someone you know has tried to quit smoking, then you know that it is a challenge. Most people make more than one attempt to quit; you may have to try many times before quitting for good, but with each effort you learn more about yourself and your addiction. Your chances of quitting increase simply by getting help rather than attempting to quit on your own. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2000), there are five keys to help you make a successful quit attempt: 1. Get ready. Set a quit date and change your environment. 2. Get support and encouragement. You have a better chance of being successful if you have help. 3. Learn new skills and behaviors. Practice stress reduction techniques, watch your diet, and drink plenty of water. 4. Get medication, and use it correctly. Ask your heath care provider for advice about which options are best for you. Some examples of medications that could help your chances of quitting for good include Chantix and Nicotine gum/inhaler/nasal spray/patch. Some are available by prescription, while others you can buy over-the counter. 5. Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations. Many tobacco users relapse; do not be discouraged. Remember, it may take several attempts before you finally quit. Some difficult situations to watch out for include alcohol, other smokers, weight gain, and depression. If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to your doctor before you start smoking again.
Campus Tobacco Cessation Programs
The William Magee Center for Alcohol and Other Drugs and Wellness Education has a tobacco cessation specialist on staff. WMC has partnered with University Health Services to create a robust tobacco cessation program and offers a range of smoking cessation and support for any member of the university community who desires to quit the use of tobacco products. Individuals who want to quit smoking may be eligible for free counseling, over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation prescriptions. For information about these resources, please visit magee.olemiss.edu.
WMC provides Project Free as a robust educational tool to create healthy changes in one’s tobacco use. This program will provide educational modules, cued reminders and opportunities to access nicotine replacement modalities from University Health Services.
Scan this QR code to join our educational tool.
WMC provides opportunities for one-on-one health consulting on select topics. This one-time session will provide you an opportunity to hear from our wellness education coordinators regarding risks of tobacco use. Our goal is to provide you with information and resources to make an informed decision regarding your personal use. Use this link to register for a Wellness Consultation with the William Magee Center.
William Magee Center Tobacco Quit Text Service
Prefer a more hands-off approach, or maybe not ready to make a change yet? This text-based service will provide you cues to action and reminders, and cheer you on as you navigate changing your tobacco use.
Simply text QUITNOW to 662-915-6543 to opt in.
University Health Services’ pharmacy can provide nicotine replacement therapy to students, faculty and staff at the University of Mississippi. For more information about NRT, please call 662-915-7274.
What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Nicotine replacement therapy is the most common form of smoking cessation medications. NRT releases small doses of nicotine into the body without the other harmful chemicals that can be found in cigarettes and other smoking devices.
Nicotine replacement therapy is most beneficial in relieving most physical symptoms of withdrawal so the user can focus on maintaining the psychological symptoms of withdrawal.
Some of the most common types of NRT include:
- Nasal spray
The University of Mississippi is a smoke-free/tobacco-free/electronic smoking device-free environment. This policy applies to all campuses of the university. Smoking, vaping (the use of an electronic smoking device, or ESD) and/or the use of smokeless tobacco shall not be permitted in any university facilities, on any university property or in any university vehicles. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors and vendors on campus, regardless of the purpose of their visit. Exemptions to this policy are not allowed.
Electronic Smoking Device (or ESD) — means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person in any manner for the purpose of inhaling vapor or aerosol (“vaping”) from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.
Vaping — using an ESD.
Smokeless Tobacco — products such as snuff, snus, chewing tobacco or dipping tobacco derived from the tobacco plant or other plant and designed to be used in a manner other than by smoking, such as by placing in the mouth, chewing or sucking.
Smoking — means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. Smoking also includes the use of an ESD, which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device to circumvent the prohibition of smoking in this policy.
Tobacco Products — products derived from tobacco, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, dipping tobacco and ESDs, and the fluids or juices designed to be used in those devices.
Hookah — a water pipe and any associated products and devices that are used to produce fumes, smoke and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to, tobacco, shisha or other plant matter.
The success of this policy depends on the consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. All members of the university community share in the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing this policy. Any complaints should be brought to the attention of the University of Mississippi Police Department, and anyone who files a complaint about a violation of this policy shall be protected against retaliation. The University of Mississippi has the authority to enforce this policy. Visitors, contractors and other individuals temporarily on campus should be reminded of the policy and asked to comply. Those individuals refusing to cooperate may be asked to leave a facility, event or the campus, and repeated violations may result in the individual(s) being issued a “no trespassing notice” from UPD. Students who violate this policy will be referred to Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct and subject to sanctions, including fines. Employees who violate this policy may face employment-related discipline and/or fines. Questions or comments about this policy may be referred to the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs for wellness and student success.
For full details of the campus Smoke Free and Tobacco Free Policy (DSA.CR.600.001), search HERE.