Vaping and e-cigarettes have become a rather hot-button topic in Rexburg with its large population of LDS members and BYU-Idaho students. To many, it’s a mysterious phenomenon with many misconceptions. However, many people already have very strong stances on the subject.

“It’s just against my values,” said Rachel Reynolds, a student at BYU-Idaho. “We don’t smoke and I think vaping still goes under that.”

BYU-Idaho’s honor code office agrees. When asked for comment, Tyler Barton, the official spokesman responded via email.

“The use of e-cigarettes or vaping atomizers is not congruent with the spirit of the BYU Idaho Student Honor code and we would encourage all students to avoid anything that looks or feels like it might be inappropriate,” said Barton.

Madison Memorial Hospital’s Director of pharmacy, seems to be most concerned about the potential amount of concentrated nicotine.

“Nicotine is a potent peripheral vasal dialator,” said Dorsie Sullenger, director of pharmacy at Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg. “What that means is [that] the blood vessels that are in your extremities like in your face, and your hands, and your feet and stuff like that, it affects the microcirculation in them. And that’s why when you see a lot of people that smoke tobacco cigarettes, why they have a real ruddy complexion.”

Michael Weathers, who helps helps run Rexburg’s new vapor lounge, tells us what a user can expect to find when they inhale from a typical vaping atomizer.

“One of the main components is going to vegetable glycerine, nicotine (or no nicotine in the juice), water, and flavoring,” said Weathers. “There’s all kinds of flavors that people like. And water vapor is what you exhale.”

Despite the school’s stance on vaping, Mr Weathers and the other employees say that more than half their business comes from active LDS members including bishops and, yes, BYU-Idaho students, who come for vapor atomizers and zero-nicotine e-juice.

Surprisingly, Mr Sullenger, even with his reservations, still feels comfortable recommending e-cigarettes to his friends.

“I’ve recommended to several of [my friends] that it, in my opinion, it would be much better for them to be on an e-cigarette than on a tobacco cigarette because they’re going to get a lot less nicotine and a [fewer] carcinogens that are cancer causing from that,” said Sullenger.

Although the safety findings in short-term studies are promising for proponents of e cigarettes, this culture is far too new for us to see how it will affect users down the road. As for its long-term effects, the jury is still out.

– Jym Pagel, Scroll TV News
Follow him on Twitter @jympagel