According to News Ledge, Democrat State Senator Marl Leno of San Francisco is introducing legislation to target e-cigarettes and vape pens. By equating vaping with cigarette smoking, the lawmaker wants to use the 1994 Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Law to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in most public areas.
“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.
Leno’s legislation follows the release of a report by the California Department of Public Health that claims vaping and e-cigarettes are a community health threat. The report claims that e-cigarettes contain at least 10 chemicals that are on California’s official list of cancer causing agents.
“There are myths and misinformation about e-cigarettes and many people do not know that they pose many of the same health risks as traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products,” Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health said to NBC News. “The public needs more facts, not more fiction.”
Following its release, the report was immediately attacked by proponents of using a portable vaporizer and the e-cigarette industry, including Bill Godshall, executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, who said that Chapman “has committed public health malpractice of the worst kind.”
“The California Department of Public Health is now protecting cigarettes and threatening the lives of vapers and smokers,” Godshall said to the Daily News. “Nearly every sentence in the California Department of Health’s e-cig report is false or misleading fear-mongering propaganda.”
Currently, the only law in California concerned with vaping is a sales ban on products that contain nicotine to minors, a number of cities and towns in the state have banned public use of vaping devices, but Leno’s legislation is the first to prohibit vaping in public statewide.