Recent attacks on using e-cigarettes or “vaping” are based on no science at all. The bans are getting out of line. Recent campaigns to ban e-cigarettes were launched by the University of California and New York City despite advice from experts that there is no scientific basis for the actions. According to a Jan. 13 LA Times article, the e-cigarette hysteria is now at the state level. California state Assembly member, Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) wants to prohibit Californians from getting their e-cigarette components over the internet.
Dickinson claims that the internet sales sites have no way to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors. He says that asking if the purchaser is 18 years or older is not an effective deterrent. The truth is that Dickinson is doing this for the money.
His proposed law, AB 1500, would still allow online retailers to send e-cigarettes to brick and mortar retailers. The brick and mortar retailers would be able to check identification and confirm that only adults are buying the e-cigarettes.
Brick and mortar retailers will also have their sales taxed to the hilt. With tobacco cigarettes already at extreme levels of excessive taxation, Dickinson sees a new way to get back-door taxes from people who are already addicted to nicotine and are trying to end a much more destructive habit: Tobacco smoking.
“Vaping” is the practice of ingesting nicotine, alcohol or other substances that are converted to vapors and breathed in. This term now applies to smoking e-cigarettes. The nicotine is supposed to be the only thing that is ingested. The resulting “smoke” is only water vapor.
According to a 2009 FDA press release, e-cigarettes were not submitted to the FDA for evaluation or approval, but the agency had extensive opinions at that time. This means that the FDA could not possibly have known about the levels of nicotine or of other chemicals that are ingested.
The reality is that, despite having well over four years to get some e-cigarettes and analyze the components of delivery, the FDA is still oddly in the dark.
Mitch Zeller is the director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. He said, “We don’t yet understand the long-term effects of these novel tobacco products.”
According to a September 2013 CDC article, over 75 percent of young e-cigarette users also smoked tobacco cigarettes. However, e-cigarette use doubled between 2011 and 2012.
The main concern should be about new cases of nicotine addiction and any other chemicals that could be delivered by the e-cigarettes.
Meanwhile, the new tobacco is marijuana. No one is placing excessive taxes or declaring war on ingesting unfiltered marijuana smoke along with pharmaceutical grade levels of THC.