The FDA is currently considering the regulation of electronic cigarette sales at the national level, but some states are choosing not to wait for federal regulators. At the end of August, California took a big step toward passing laws to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes, and many political analysts believe the regulations could be made into law soon.
The Current Status of the California E-Cig Bill
During the first half of 2015, a number of anti-tobacco bills were not successfully passed in the California Assembly. The laws include one that would raise the minimum age for buying tobacco cigarettes from 18 to 21 and a number of regulations regarding e-cigarettes. Although the first bill was unsuccessful, new legislation did successfully pass in the California State Senate on August 27. Now, the bill must be voted on by the California State Assembly in a special session, and is believed by many to have a good chance of passing.
What’s Causing the Push for Regulations?
So what’s behind the push for tightening restrictions on e-cig sales? The sponsor of the California bill, Senator Mark Leno, and his supporters, believe that using an e-cig can be a gateway to smoking cigarettes. They argue that while some people vape to quit smoking, others begin using an ecig and then transition to using tobacco products. Supporters of the bill point to statistics released by the California Department of Public Health, stating that more people aged 18 to 29 are now vaping, with usage rising from 2.3 percent in 2012 to 7.6 percent in 2013. Additionally, they express concern about young children being poisoned by e-liquids that contain nicotine, see here.
What Would the Law Change?
If the California legislation passes the assembly, a number of changes will be in store for the vapor pens industry. The law would require:
– All retailers that wish to sell vaporizer pens and electronic cigarettes in California to obtain a license to operate. This would involve paying a fee.
– Electronic cigarettes, e-cig parts, and ecig liquids to be sold in packaging that is difficult for children to open.
– E-cigarettes to only be used in private places. They would be banned from being used in public places, such as at schools and businesses. Basically, you would no longer be able to vape an e-cig in any place where you are currently not allowed to smoke.
Of course, not everyone is in favor of the legislation, and some people worry that changes could make the cost of e-cigarettes rise and put small vape shops and online vape shop out of business. Proponents and critics of the law both have a chance to make their voices heard by contacting the offices of their California Assembly members.