I've mentioned previously that California is a trend setter when it comes to stupid public policy. It's a title our elected leaders must be proud of, because the state senate just voted to regulate e-cigarettes exactly like tobacco, which means they will be banned "...from restaurants, theaters and other public places in California where smoking is prohibited to address health concerns," according to the LA Times.
What health concerns could the senate have in mind? The Times doesn't elaborate except to quote two badly misinformed senators, Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Jeff Stone (R-Murrietta). I'll give you a few seconds to guess which limp-wristed arguments they used to defend the bill.
I was going to come up with some witty riposte for this sentence, but the actual answer is comical enough without my input. These two thoughtful legislators want to ban e-cigs in public because they contain nicotine and are popular among teenagers. "'Vaping'” is a gateway to cigarette smoking," says Stone, and those dastardly vape pen pushers are marketing their harmful product to kids by selling fruit-flavored e-liquid.
Never mind the fact that our senators are assuming what's at issue--that e-cigarettes are truly dangerous--and consider the following, please. E-cigarettes are not nearly as popular among teens as is commonly believed, and the kids who do use them were already smokers.
Had the authors of this bill actually looked at the CDC's statistics instead of just reading the agency's press release back in 2012, they would have learned about these two crucial pieces of information. You don't have to be a logician to understand the significance here: e-cigs can't be a gateway to smoking if the teens who use the vaping devices were already smokers.
By the way, I'm quickly approaching 30 and I love fruit-flavored vapor; it certainly beats the taste of burning tobacco. Judging by the popularity of these e-liquids in vape shops, which are already prohibited from selling to minors, I'm not the only former smoker with this preference.