The regulation would prevent people from using e-cigarettes while in parks or on beaches throughout the state of California
Dealing with all the vaping regulations is one of the most challenging things about being a vaper. Most countries have public bans on vaping, while some have taken things further and outright banned the harm reduction tools for everyone. One of the more common ways that vaping ends up being significantly mitigated is by being lumped in with existing or new tobacco control regulations. Most legislators have seemingly decided amongst themselves that vaping is very similar to smoking and ought to be treated as such.
It’s clear that no reputable evidence has gone into these decisions, as we have plenty of research pointing to the many benefits of e-cigarettes. Regardless, whatever stance the government bodies take has a direct impact on the public perception of vaping. Polls suggest that only around 13% of adults even understand that vaping is a lot safer than smoking. All of these reasons make it fantastic to learn that California’s Governor, Jerry Brown (D), has once again vetoed a bill that would have banned vaping throughout the state’s parks and beaches.
The California Vaping Bill
For the third year in a row, Governor Jerry Brown swiftly vetoed a bill that aimed to reign in vaping inside state parks. This bill would also have banned smoking tobacco and marijuana in the same places, indicating a primary reason so many are unhappy with the ban. While California often deals with wildfires caused by small ignition points, vaping doesn’t require an open flame like either type of smoking does. So the lawmakers focus on preventing fires shouldn’t be including vaping at all. Governor Brown indicated that his mind hasn’t been changed on the subject, as he’s worried too many laws already limit freedom in wide open spaces.
As mentioned, this is the third time he’s had to veto a similar ban, aimed at preventing vaping in public beaches and parks. In years past the legislators behind the bill have tried focusing on the second-hand smoke angle, but this year they were more focused on the risk of wildfires, likely due to their rough year with them. It’s clear that at the end of the day, the lawmakers are only interested in limiting vaping along with smoking, as they see the two as basically the same.
Further Research On Vaping
While it’s true that the research is far from complete on the long-term effects of vaping, the research we do have strongly indicates it could be a total game changer. At the very least, we have enough evidence to say with confidence that vaping and smoking should not be equated. Research published back in 2015 by Public Health England concluded that vaping is at least 95% safer than tobacco, and then just last fall a study published in the Journal of Aerosol Science concluded that the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is around 57,000 times higher than a vaper. If that wasn’t enough, we also have strong reason to believe that vaping is the best smoking cessation tool we have thanks to research published by the University of Louisville.
But ultimately the most significant concern of many critics is regarding the impact legitimation of vaping could have on the youth. Some worry that by supporting vaping for its smoking cessation and harm reduction value, it could make teens more likely to pick up vaping before making the jump to full-blown smoking. Luckily it seems that this worry is unfounded. A survey of over 60,000 teens between the ages of 11-16 concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens will ever start vaping full time. So that means far fewer than 0.1% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up cigarettes as a result of vaping.
It’s not entirely unreasonable that so many worry about the impact of vaping on the youth. After all, protecting the kids must remain paramount, and vaping and smoking appear quite similar. But research clearly shows that vaping and smoking are not the same. Studies looking into the effects of second-hand vapor have overwhelmingly concluded that vaping barely affects indoor air quality, while smoking significantly degrades it. That’s why it’s so great to see a substantial commitment from a high-level politician about the differences between vaping and smoking. While it’s unlikely to change any minds overnight, this is precisely the type of backing the vaping industry needs to make that hard push into widespread legitimacy. Utilizing the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping is a primary key to being able to further the fight against tobacco.
Are you surprised Gov. Brown chose to veto the vaping ban for the third year in a row? What’s the biggest problem preventing more people from attempting to quit smoking with vaping? What’s the best way to improve the public perception of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.