California Weighs New Bill to Ban Ecigs in Public Places
California lawmakers are weighing their options as they study a new bill that would ban vaping in public places. Introduced to legislature on Monday, the bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Mark Leno. He has been very outspoken about his opposition to electronic cigarettes and now he is attempting to push his agenda further through state legislation.
Leno believes ecigarettes are dangerous because of nicotine. “Whether you get people hooked on e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes, it’s nicotine addiction and it kills,” he said. “We’re going to see hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from e-cigarette use just like we did from traditional tobacco use.”
Unfortunately, this viewpoint is touted as fact far too often, but there is little truth in Leno’s statements. Nicotine actually acts much like caffeine in the body and there is absolutely no evidence that nicotine causes a substantial risk for cancer. Of course, people do die from using nicotine products, but that is not due to the nicotine – it’s the tobacco and tar that kills.
Of course there is little room for science in legislature these days and this new bill would essentially sentence ecigs to a glim future in California, making them forbidden in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. It would also add penalties to people selling ecigs to minors.
This misguided approach to ecigs is not new to the United States and if the bill passes, California will be the 23rd state to regulate ecigs in the same way as tobacco products. Already, 122 cities and counties in California have banned ecigs in public places.
The American Vaping Association has spoken out in opposition of the bill, claiming that it would ultimately harm public health by discouraging smokers from using ecigs as a safer alternative. “California smokers deserve truthful information about smoke-free alternatives, not hype and conjecture designed to scare them away from attempting to quit with these innovative technology products,” President Gregory Conley said in a press release.
Do you think it is dangerous for public health to ban ecigs from public places? Does public vaping bother you or do you think we simply need to raise awareness about ecig safety?