California Gov. Jerry brown signed five bills tobacco-related bills into law Wednesday, including SBX2-5, the e-cigarette law introduced last year by Sen. Mark Leno. The law essentially treats tobacco-free vapor products as tobacco, whether they contain nicotine or not.
According to NotBlowingSmoke.org, SBX2-5 “would define the term ‘smoking’ for purposes of the STAKE Act. The bill would also change the STAKE Act’s definition of ‘tobacco products’ to include electronic devices, such as electronic cigarettes, that deliver nicotine or other vaporized liquids, and make furnishing such a tobacco product to a minor a misdemeanor.”
Another bill, SBX2-7, changes the smoking age in the state to 21. The age restriction will also apply to vaping. All of California’s existing indoor smoking and workplace smoking restrictions will also apply to vaping.
“California took a step backwards today”
The California chapters of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) issued this statement:
“California took a step backwards today by reclassifying vapor products as tobacco. Stigmatizing vapor products, which contain no tobacco and treating them the same as combustible tobacco while actively seeking to economically penalize smokers attempting to switch is counterproductive to public health. We remain strongly opposed to SBX2-5 and will continue to work with the legislature, and voters, to educate them on what science says should be embraced as a far less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes.
“Our industry, which was built by former smokers that morphed into small- and mid-sized businesses, has always supported sensible legislation, such as prohibitions on selling to minors, reasonable licensing requirements and child-resistant packaging. However, this legislation will negatively impact California small business, of which there are approximately 1,400 vaping retail locations, plus hundreds of manufacturers, distributors and related businesses that contribute to the state’s economy, generating taxes and thousands of jobs.”