Ecig laws are rearing their ugly heads again in California and it isn’t pretty. It’s more than that, it’s misguided. What we are talking about is the golden state’s attempts to connect electronic cigarette use to traditional tobacco cigarette use. Members of the California legislature have tried numerous times to toss ecigs into the same category and apply the same smoking bans to vapor, and they just haven’t given up yet.
State senator Mark Leno, a democrat from San Francisco, introduced the latest attempt at state regulation of vapor use in the state. If he has his way, vapor cigarettes will be cast in with the lot of traditional tobacco cigarettes. His bill would put on the books ecig laws that would prevent people from vaping in their places of work, at schools, and anywhere where traditional tobacco cigarette smoking isn’t allowed. It would also require that electronic cigarettes be sold in child-resistant packaging and only by those who obtain a license to sell ecigs.
While we agree that child-resistant packaging is a good thing, it is probably the only part of the bill that actually helps our community as a whole. It’s become alright to ostracize smokers to a certain extent in this country and, while we don’t really agree with that either, it has some basis of merit. Secondhand smoking is terrible for you, so pushing smokers away from non-smokers makes sense. It also has an intended side effect of pushing smokers to finally make a change and get off of tobacco cigarettes. It’s more than a little heavy handed as an approach, but we understand the reasons behind it and can agree with parts of it.
Ecig Laws Could Drive Smoking Rates Up
What we can’t agree with is this misguided approach toward ecig laws and smoking bans. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t even put these two things in the same sentence. Boxing in smokers is one thing, but trying to do the same to vapers is just counterproductive.
With vapor cigarettes coming into their own, smokers finally had a solution for all those moments where they couldn’t smoke. Better than that, they had an option to finally make that switch and for a millions it meant making that switch a full-time permanent one. This was a pinnacle moment for smokers in California who have been hit over the head with high tobacco taxes not to mention the dangers of smoking.
Which is why we should be rejoicing in their successes and so should the California legislature! Instead, they are ironically driving smokers back into that corner where their only out is to pick up that old familiar traditional tobacco cigarette. This is just foolhardy and is liable to bring smoking rates back up after electronic cigarettes played a vital role in bringing them down to historic level. But the march goes on, led by the lies coming from Ron Chapman and the California Department of Health.
This new bill by State Senator Leno resembles one that passed the Senate earlier this year but died in committee. He’s feeling more confident about his chances this time, but we can only hope that it will suffer the same fate. We’re left to wonder how long it will take for California to wake up and realize how much good it can do if it worked with its citizenry to help bring about an end to smoking. That’s the real end goal here, isn’t it?
As far as ecig laws are concerned, California isn’t the only state taking such a dangerous approach, but they are the biggest and the loudest. The vaping community from across the country needs to make its voice heard. Because it won’t stop in California if this bill passes. Opponents of vaping will use it as a measuring stick to judge their chances elsewhere and they will be injected with renewed enthusiasm if that is actually the case. We can do more to fight this. If you are a California resident, write or call your state congressman or woman and tell them this bill is a bad idea that they need to vote down. Let’s hope that, for the sake of vapers and smokers alike, they’ll agree with you.