Vaping advocates in California are celebrating a victory this week after a bill that would regulate e-cigarettes and all other vaping products in the same way as traditional nicotine products was abandoned by its sponsor, Senator Mark Leno.
Tensions were high as the bill was drafted and carried through the legislative process. Leno argued that simply because the nicotine in e-liquid is derived from tobacco like the nicotine in cigarettes, they should be regulated just as strictly. The proposal would have forbid the use of e-cigarettes anywhere traditional tobacco products are banned, along with other restrictions.
One of Leno’s arguments was that legally defining vape products on the same level as combustible nicotine products would be good for minors. However, California law already bans the use of e-cigarettes among teens.
Thankfully, the vaping community turned out and made sure their voices were heard. Testimony was given by the owners of vape shops, folks who have used vaping to quit smoking, and other pro-vapers. Among the speakers was American Vaping Association president, Gregory Conley. Defending the use of vaping to California’s lawmakers, Conley noted, “…this industry was created by ex-smokers who use this product to quit.”
Leno gave up on his bill after the Assembly Governmental Organisation Committee removed the vaping regulations from it. Assemblymen Adam Gray and Henry T. Perea aired on the side of sense with Gray saying that the state should wait until the Federal Food and Drug Administration releases its own report on the matter. Perea added that there is “a whole group of individuals who will get caught up in this political, bureaucratic thing when they don’t have to be.”