Op-ed: The bookstore should sell nicotine gum if they sell tobacco products

by Alex Thenin

(Photo: Alex Thenin)

The bookstore sells cigarettes, vapes and chewing tobacco but gives no nicotine-alternatives to help combat the addiction.

Tobacco is a very addictive and dangerous drug and while vapes are considered safer than tobacco they are still anything but healthy. It won’t be until several decades from now that we will know the long term effects of vapes.

The addictive nature of these drugs makes me wonder why there are no alternatives sold at the FPU bookstore.

When I asked the bookstore they told me it was corporate’s decision. They also told me that they thought that nicotine gum was a prescription-only drug. I went to Walmart to test this and bought Equate Nicotine gum for $6.89. Next to the gum were mints and patches.

When I contacted the corporation (Follett) headquarters, the spokesperson said, “For assistance with your concern, we ask that you contact the bookstore directly.” Bookstore redirected me to corporate and I gave up after that.

In my opinion as an ex smoker, smoking alternatives are necessary. The easier it is to get a drug the more likely someone is to do it and without alternatives it can seem hopeless for the people affected that live on campus. New stats from the Center for Diseases Control indicated only six percent of people who want to quit actually do. According to Science Daily, a study showed that long-time smokers are 4.7 times more able to quit if they use nicotine alternatives.

I am not implying that nicotine gum is completely safe. Some people quit smoking and get hooked on gum. Long term use of nicotine gum can prove to have dangerous side effects, but if you used properly over a short period of time it does improve your chances of quitting.

Why is it that we are denying an essential resource to students who want to quit? What benefit can this possibly have other than monetary gain for the store?

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