SB 140 was a bill put forth by Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that sought, among other things, to reclassify electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products”. While there was no controversy over prohibitions on selling to minors, reasonable licensure requirements, and child-resistant packaging for e-liquids, putting e-cigarettes in the same classification as combustible tobacco was something the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee would not accept, and that caused Leno to withdraw his bill and essentially throw a tantrum.
You can watch the whole discussion here (be prepared to yell obscenities at your screen).
It was frustrating at first to see the misinformation passed along by prominent politicians and doctors, but I suppose I’m pretty used to it at this point. There was a lot of this logic: “cigarettes kill hundreds of thousands of people every year, therefore e-cigarettes are bad” (WTF?). Horribly flawed studies were cherry-picked, the uptick in teen vaping was hammered home without mention of the drop in teen smoking, Leno frequently conflated Big Tobacco with the vaping industry, and the word “toxic” was thrown around as though everything isn’t toxic given a high enough dosage. The line of small business owners and employees, former smokers, combat veterans, and cancer survivors stepping up to the mic to air their grievances with SB140 was a real tearjerker though. This takes up the majority of the time in the video.
Despite all the deception from Leno and his comrades, the committee kept its head screwed on straight and refused to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products. When it became evident that this wasn’t going to change, Senator Leno no longer had any interest in passing the amended bill which contained all the provisions necessary to protect children, making it pretty evident that he didn’t actually give two shits about whether or not children were vaping or being accidentally poisoned due to a lack of childproof caps. Surprise.
Classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products (which would have included products containing no nicotine!) would make it very easy to pass further restrictions and taxes on them in the future without having to mention them specifically, making it harder for current vapers to continue using them instead of cigarettes and making it harder for smokers to get accurate information and access to a device that may help them kick a very dangerous habit. Another issue in the bill would have required you to show ID and sign for any vape mail you received, which would add $6 to all of your online orders, but it’s dead in the water, so you need not worry for now. Presumably, this was their last chance to pass a law regarding e-cigarettes before the FDA finally drops the whatever it is the FDA is finally going to drop.
Written by: Shawn C. Avery | Repost from Dripclub
Editor-in-Chief at the Daily Drip and vaping enthusiast with a B.S. in physics and a couple of adorable cats. Follow me on Twitter.