e-cigarette

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SUNY Oswego is joining a growing number of colleges in the United States going smoke free on campus.

The college will be completely tobacco-free starting Jan. 1, according to Jerald Woolfolk with SUNY Oswego.

She says the plan allows for students and faculty to police themselves like they would at other smoke-free places, like hospitals and shopping centers.

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Poisonings from the liquid that is used in electronic cigarettes is on the rise in New York state. They come in flavors like bubble gum, mint chip and grape, but only one swallow of liquid nicotine can make a child very, very ill, according to Michelle Caliva, head of the Upstate New York Poison Center.

"E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and nicotine is toxic to children," Caliva said. "Whether it’s in the e-cigarette or a cigarette. If they ingest enough of it, they’re going to get sick."

Health authorities are very aware of the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes. Some think these tobacco products lure teens and young adults to the habit of smoking not only e-cigarettes but traditional cigarettes as well.

The number of high school students using e-cigarettes has doubled from 2011 to 2012. Dr. Leslie Kohman, the medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center, explains some dangers of these devices.

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The Food and Drug Administration may soon get in on the fast growing e-cigarette industry. It’s considering labeling them as tobacco products, which would mean regulation over where they’re sold and how they’re made. That's good news for central New York smoking opponents, who say a lack of regulation is one of the big danger points of these electronic smoking devices.

So what is an e-cigarette anyway?

“A vaporized form of nicotine that is derived from tobacco, that is flavored and inhaled like a cigarette,” says Upstate Cancer Center Medical Director Leslie Kohman.