SFATA Fights California Proposal to Treat Electronic Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

California legislators push anti-electronic cigarette bill without constituent backing or supporting evidence.


Sacramento, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/25/2013 --The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), an electronic cigarette industry trade organization, is advocating against state-level legislation in California that would treat electronic cigarettes as conventional, smoked cigarettes. This legislation would severely restrict and prohibit use of electronic cigarettes in the state of California without any evidence supporting the need for these changes.

Among other things, California Senate Bill 648 (SB 648) proposes that electronic cigarettes and other vapor products should not be used anywhere that tobacco smoking is prohibited. This would ban electronic cigarette use in almost all workplaces, bars, and restaurants regardless of the preference of business owners and their employees. It would also ban use of electronic cigarettes inside or within 20 feet of any public building or vehicle owned by the state. Although recently amended due to public outcry, the bill even proposed to give landlords the power to prohibit residents from using e-cigs within their homes.

There is currently no evidence suggesting legislation of this magnitude against electronic cigarettes is required. Research into the risks and effects of electronic cigarettes is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Backers of SB 648 are attempting to enact policy far beyond their understanding and expertise. The bill contains a conclusion that the use of e-cigs “may be a hazard to the health of the general public,” yet many in public health agree that more research is required to support such an assertion. E-Cigs produce no smoke, no ash, no odor and the vapor produced dissipates in approximately 11 seconds or less.

SFATA membership and staff are taking a direct role in the education of regulators and the advocacy for fair and responsible legislation. Without more information, California Senate Bill 648 represents an overzealous attempt to institute policy without reason or support. In its current draft, SB 648 shows that California state legislators are willing to ignore constituents. The bill would subject non-smokers to secondhand smoke by forcing them to use e-cigs in areas designated for smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. It would also encourage smokers to continue smoking and increase smoking-related debris by impeding access to an environmentally friendlier alternative.

It is SFATA's goal to assist the legislative process by providing facts and commentary to policymakers. Efforts by the FDA to determine the precise risks of electronic cigarettes and appropriately regulate them should not be impeded by rash state-level politics. SFATA is also assisting with electronic cigarette community and consumer group organizing efforts to make their voices heard during the decision-making process.

California Senate Bill 648 is awaiting assignment to a review board.

SFATA is dedicated to assisting the electronic cigarette industry grow through meaningful advocacy, educational efforts, and awareness campaigns. For more information about SB 648 or other advocacy and awareness efforts, please visit SFATA.org or email info@sfata.org.

The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association is dedicated to the advocacy, education, and reputation of the electronic cigarette industry. Through its membership, SFATA builds the networks necessary to support campaigning and research endeavors paramount to the future of the industry. SFATA's primary concern is the fair regulation of electronic cigarettes in a way that creates an even playing field for all companies in the market. For more information, visit SFATA.org, email info@sfata.org or call 218-22-SFATA.