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    Editorial: Vaping in government facilities



    Story by Cpl. David Bickel 

    AFN Iwakuni

    Editor's Note: The views expressed in the following entry are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Marine Corps, Department of Defense or the U.S. government.

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - I’m going to start out by defining the subject I am going to be addressing. Vaping is defined as the inhaling and exhaling of an electronic cigarette and or water vapor producing mechanism. The point of this paper is to lay out the Marine Corps’ stance on vaping in government facilities, and argue in favor of vaping inside said facilities.

    The Marine Corps has taken a stance against vaping in government facilities due to fire hazard, the similar makeup to that of a cigarette and to discourage people from partaking in this activity.

    According to Quantico’s MCBO 5353.1D, section 5, paragraph E, smoking of an electronic cigarette or a vapor producing device is not allowed in any government housing facilities or any buildings common to all occupants and visitors. Under this restriction, it is prohibited to partake in any vaping activities in government facilities.

    The first argument against vaping in the barracks is the idea that it is a fire hazard. Most vaporizers or electronic cigarettes are made up of several basic components; the fluid or juice, atomizer (this can be larger or smaller depending on the vape), the power source, and the mouthpiece or tip. Generally, the atomizer is responsible for turning the juice into vapor. Most atomizers are enclosed in a thick metal case which ensures the device will heat safely and not become a fire hazard. There is more potential danger from a hot iron than there is from the heat produced by the atomizer on a vape. The iron has exposed heat as well as a larger heating surface, whereas the atomizer has an extremely small surface that gets hot and a casing to prevent excessive heat.

    The next problem that the government has with vaping is the classification of the vape itself. Throughout multiple base orders, as shown above, the government puts vaporizers in the same category as other tobacco products. The interesting thing is, vaporizers contain NO tobacco whatsoever and strictly use liquids to produce the vapor. Many people justify the classification based upon the nicotine content in the vaporizer juice. However, the real problem with any tobacco use in the barracks is the tobacco content, not the nicotine content.

    The last argument is the health hazards of vaping. Many people believe that vaping is an unhealthy alternative to smoking and eventually will harm you.

    The MatTek Corporation, a human cell research facility, teamed up with one of the world’s tobacco giants to test the long term effects of vaping. Scientists created a “smoking robot” that simulated the human intake of vapors and regular tobacco smoke. After around six hours of regular cigarette smoke, the cells died. However, when exposed to an “aggressive and continuous dose of vapor,” the scientists determined the damage was equal to that of normal air.

    Overall, the reasoning behind the rules against vaping in the barracks have little to no ground to stand on as well as little relevancy to the topic of tobacco smoking, which the government classifies as regular cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and vaporizers.

    In review, we covered the limitations the government has placed on vaping and the idea that all of these limitations are silly. For more information on vaping, check out



    Date Taken: 12.21.2015
    Date Posted: 12.30.2015 22:58
    Story ID: 185509

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