State Senate Bill 140 seeks to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, and subject them to the same laws that apply to regular cigarettes. It’s set for discussion soon at a capitol hearing.
If SB 140 passes then, just as with cigarettes, e-cigarettes will be banned at workplaces, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other public places statewide. The public will be protected from having to inhale second-hand e-cigarette vapors, just as they’re currently protected against second-hand smoke.
Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), author of the bill, points out that e-cigarettes already are banned via ordinances in 180 cities and counties in California. For those with COPD, a statewide ban will be good news if the bill passes. Whether the vapor from e-cigarettes can be characterized as smoke or not, it is indeed something other than the natural mix of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide found in the air around us, and most likely is detrimental to COPD sufferers. And, of course, it contains highly addictive nicotine, which is not good for anyone, including the youth to which these e-cigarettes are being aggressively marketed.