The wild west of vape pens, e-cigarettes or vaporizers looks to be drawing to a close. California is introducing a bill to ban the devices in any places where traditional cigarettes are banned.
State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco introduced DB140 this past Monday to target the popular vape pens. “Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a cloud of other toxic chemicals, and their use should be restricted equally under state law in order to protect public health,” Leno said in a statement.
It has been a tough week for smokers. Following SB140, Senator Hernandez introduced a bill to raise the legal age for smokers to 21 from 18. SB140 would follow local ordinances that already ban vaping in specified areas.
Ordinances use the 1994 Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Law to prohibit the use of the electronic cigarettes in certain areas. Critics of the bill point to a lack of studies that show any dangers from the devices. Opponents of e-cigarettes or vape pens say the industry is pushing flavors that appeal to kids.
That same argument can be made about the alcohol industry, but don’t hold your breath on politicians attacking that industry.
Earlier this week, the California Department of Public Health released a report claiming vape pens are no safer than traditional cigarettes. In fact, the report claims the pens contain at least 10 chemicals known to cause cancer.
“There is a lot of misinformation about e-cigarettes. That is why, as the state’s health officer, I am advising Californians to avoid the use of e-cigarettes and keep them away from children of all ages,” California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ron Chapman said.
Both bills are slated for committees in the Spring. The tobacco industry has donated nearly $200,000 to California Democrats. For the jaded among us, this could mean both bills die in committee. Maybe the age requirement sneaks through, but the industry will want something for their money.