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California ecig Regulation Passed

A sad day for Californian vapers as legislation brings a victory for ignorance

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In one day, the Californian legislature passed six bills claiming to attack adult smoking. The impacts range from increasing the legal age, raising the rate of tax, placing workplace bans and introducing fees for vendors and distributors. One bill in particular targeted vaping.

Even though vaping rooms, hookah bars and cigar lounges have escaped the clampdown, the LA Times slammed the new regulations by writing: “California tramples on smokers' rights.” But then they go on to point out: “vaping, as the cool kids call it, is not the same as smoking ... This doesn't make it harmless, as the e-cigarette industry might have you believe. For one thing, nicotine is an addictive drug linked to heart disease.”

It is incredible that they can be, on one hand, lambasting restrictions on smoking and yet supporting a clampdown on vaping. It symbolises the corruption of the debate surrounding electronic cigarettes and does nothing but lend credence to the fact that there’s a Big Tobacco conspiracy afoot. “One week ago your editorial board criticized the lack of regulation of e-cigarettes,” responds the bill’s author Mark Leno. “Yet you now insist that regulating them in California ‘tramples’ on the rights of smokers?”

It gives Leno reason to believe his puritanical approach to tobacco control, and lumping vaping into the mix, is a just cause: “Big Tobacco's assault on youth and taxpayers was dealt a major setback today when the Legislature came to the rescue of Californians.”

This flies in the face of recent research proving the contrary. Findings by Weill Cornell Medicine researchers lead to the conclusion that barring teens from accessing vape products correlates to increased use of traditional smoking products. Michael Pesko, the study’s author, commented: “We should regulate tobacco products proportionate to their risks, and e-cigarette evidence suggests they're less risky products. While there's some risk, it would be a mistake to regulate them the same way we regulate cigarettes."

A Letter to the Fresno Bee agrees that the bill is misguided: “The long-term health risks of vaping are not fully known, but some reputable studies indicate that it could be as much as 95 percent less harmful than smoking. It is meaningless to say that vape juice ‘contains toxic chemicals.’ So do foods that we consume every day. What matters is whether it contains enough of those chemicals to produce a deleterious effect on the user.”

The shameful thing is that the law now classifies electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco products. Leno and his friends have elected to ignore findings from research. “It's really disheartening,” said the owner of the Nor Cal Vape Shop, “because vapor products are not tobacco products.”

"Unfortunately," says Dale Gieringer, the executive director of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, "our own nanny-state health officials are no more honest about e-cigs than they are about marijuana."

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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