A group of “reformed combustible cigarette users” and vaping product shop owners met with lawmakers at the State Capitol Wednesday for a “Day of Action” to protect vaping rights.
Vaping and e-cigarettes deliver nicotine through vapor rather than smoke.
Assembly Bill 1639, by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Modesto), proposes to impose harsh fines and penalties on vaping businesses, leaving many to fear the legislation would lead to vaping businesses closures.
“AB 1639 would not only impose tougher regulations on the sales and marketing of vaping products that would impact many businesses but would trickle down and impact many vapor product users, VaporTechnology.org reports. Under the proposed bill, vapor product businesses would not be allowed to engage in testimonial advertising.”
Supporters of the bill agree with the increase in penalties for adults who buy vaping products on behalf of a minor.
Many vaping supporters say it is much less harmful than smoking. Those who have switched from cigarette smoking to vaping report immediate health improvements.
“We are all concerned about AB 1639 as it leaves many small business shops at risk of facing harsh fines and penalties that could potentially cost them their business,” said Jake Butcher, State Affairs Manager for the Vapor Technology Association. “Vaping has proven to be more effective for quitting cigarettes than the patch, gum and other similar products. No other industry faces tougher penalties on sales or age restricted products than the vaping industry. This is placing a target on vaping business owners and unfairly giving Big Tobacco the upper hand as their industry would not face these strict regulations.”
Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, and Jeff Stier, J.D., a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center, recently published an article at the Pacific Research Institute concluding the vaping hysteria and disinformation campaign will lead to more tobacco deaths.
Miller and Stier said:
According to a just-released report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 7.5 million people 12 years old and older in the U.S. have been diagnosed with dependence or abuse of illicit drugs in the past year. But that’s not stopping e-cigarette opponents from trying to score political points by mischaracterizing the problem by conflating e-cigarettes with street drugs. And health reporters have been all too eager to comply, rather than challenge their assertions. The same with regulators. The FDA calls its irresponsible, unscientific anti-vaping media blitz “The Real Cost Campaign.” We think evaluating the real costs is a good thing. But what are the real costs of misleading people about the risks of e-cigarettes, especially in cases like the Wisconsin cluster?
First, adult smokers will be less likely to switch from smoking to vaping because of an unfounded fear of contracting “serious lung disease.” This alone stinks worse than Wisconsin’s most pungent cheese.
Miller and Stier say the not-so-hidden agenda behind the scare is to fool lawmakers into thinking e-cigarettes are as dangerous or more dangerous than “combustible cigarettes,” causing them to regulate these lower-risk alternatives inappropriately. This, too, will prevent smokers from quitting.
Vaping proponents said the Center for Disease Control reported that the number of U.S. smokers dropped from 20.6 percent in 2009 to only 15.5 percent as of 2016.
Steven Greenhut with the R Street Institute, has written extensively about the attempts – and successes – of government to control and even ban vaping. He writes: “R Street Institute is involved in the vaping battle because of our concern about ‘harm reduction.’ That’s the theory that government should not insist on abstinence (e.g., Prohibition-style policies) but should enable people to engage in safer alternatives. Engaging in risky sex, for instance, is, well, risky. But it’s out of bounds for government to arrest people for such behavior. It instead should encourage safer sex. I doubt a single San Franciscan would disagree with that statement.”
Recently, San Francisco Mayor London Breed signed into law a vaping ban, passed 11-0 by the county board of supervisors, on the sale of e-cigarettes and all relevant paraphernalia.
“Welcome to tolerant San Francisco, where you have every right to live as you please as long as you choose only to do the things that are socially acceptable,” Greenhut says. “If you want to shoot up or take a dump in the street, that’s OK given that you are a victim of society. If you want to, say, smoke tobacco or vape, forget about it.