Grace Brown

Equinox Staff

On Wednesday, September 18, Keene State College President Melinda Treadwell appeared as a guest speaker in a pharmacology class. The class had eight students, most of whom were seniors studying to become athletic trainers. The students in the class were preparing for their first exam of the semester.

During the class Treadwell talked about addictions, poisons and how our bodies will react.

“All substances are poisons, there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy,” Treadwell said, quoting Swiss physician Paracelsus. “After a while you will build a tolerance to nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol. We use these products to relax or have fun. But after the buzz or high is over, it is still affecting your body,” Treadwell said.

“The compounds in vaping, we don’t fully understand what the compound mixture is. In some cases it could be nicotine, others could be THC. We never had these mixtures in contact with our lungs. As humans we are like guinea pigs,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell ended the class by talking about the recent deaths in the news that were traced to vaping. She expressed her own concerns.

“I’m pretty stressed about this. It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this. Hopefully it won’t take anyone here at Keene State, but I’m worried,” Treadwell said.

Coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Use Prevention and Education at the Wellness Center Melissa Langill said the college is working on a support system for this issue on campus.

“We are looking at smoking sensation options for students. We used to have a good collaboration with Cheshire Medical. They helped us with classes and patches, but they have changed their program,” Langill said. “‘Students can come to Elliot Center and talk to me or talk to health services and we can help you get connected. We are trying to start a new program to get students these opportunities again with good intentions.”

Langill also expressed her input on the recent deaths and lung diseases.

“The scary thing about lung disease is that it is relatively new.  We know it’s related to e-cigarettes and vaping, but we don’t know why,” Langill said. “We shouldn’t be fear based, and don’t need to blow this out of proportion, but it is a problem. If I was vaping, I would try to be cautious about what is in the product. Also, if you are vaping in the dorms you shouldn’t do that. That’s not a smart choice; and not just because it constantly sets off the fire alarm.”

It’s not just faculty that are worried about this issue. A student who requested to remain anonymous also express concern.

“It’s scary that we don’t know what we are putting into our bodies. I understand that adults use these products to stop smoking, but the flavored pods are so appealing to teenagers. People are in denial but we are literally killing ourselves. I have a close friend that was personally affected by these products. I am worried for my generation,” the student said.

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