SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A revised anti-tobacco bill is attempting to regulate the growing electronic cigarette industry and snuff out users in public places.
Currently, vaping is treated as a safe alternative to smoking, but some lawmakers want to ban it from the same places cigarettes aren’t allowed.
Sean Holbrook and his friend say the battery-operated, candy-flavored nicotine devices helped them quit smoking cigarettes as teenagers.
“It takes better,” he said. “Once you start doing it, you get the same feeling without feeling like crap all the time.”
They smoke electronic cigarettes socially when they want, pretty much anywhere they want. But new legislation could classify them as tobacco products and snuff them out of public places such as restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
“This new industry saving lives is being martyred to death by legislatures,” said Adam Marks, co-owner of Omega Vapor Supply.
He says Democratic lawmakers are attacking the industry to get more money.
“Money is lost when people switch. big tobacco doesn’t make a dollar when people aren’t smoking,” he said.
State Sen. Mark Leno’s proposed bill regulating E-cigarettes and giving the state the power to tax them just passed a senate committee. He considers them to be just as harmful as traditional cigarettes.
“Nicotine comes from one place—the tobacco plant,” he said. “it is clearly a tobacco product.”
Not everyone agrees. Research on the dangers of E-cigarettes haven’t proven conclusive with mixed results.