Proposed e-cig ban is misguided


Christian Rodriguez

Christian Rodriguez

This is a call to action fellow students of Citrus College, grab your computers and email your state senator to say “No” to SB 648.

 

SB 648 is a bill proposed by State Senator Tom Corbett to ban vapor products wherever smoking is banned and is currently at the State Senate level.

 

For those unfamiliar with electronic cigarettes, commonly shortened to e-cigarettes, they are small cigarette-shaped inhalers that simulate the act of smoking tobacco. They work by vaporizing a water-based solution containing nicotine, which users inhale and exhale just like the smoke of conventional cigarettes. Most come with different levels of nicotine concentration from high, middle, low, none and also include flavoring, which range from tobacco, to mint, to cherry.

 

Some advantages of e-cigarettes is that they produce no second-hand smoke, there is no trash involved, unlike cigarette’s butts, and they also ease people off smoking with the level of nicotine by starting at the highest level and easing themselves slowly by reducing the level from high, middle, low, and finally to non-nicotine.

 

E-cigarettes are relatively new and there is an uncertainty about their health effects. Clearly, they are not benign, as it is well established that nicotine has side effects including increased heart rate and heightened blood pressure, but is preferable over inhaling all the toxins of cigarettes.

 

Regulatory agencies and some health experts aren’t sure. They’re asking questions about the possible side effects of inhaling nicotine vapor, as well as other health risks e-cigarettes may pose — both to users and to the public. Those calling for tight regulations on e-cigarettes claim that these devices should be deemed illegal until the proper research trials have been conducted to prove that they’re safe.

 

So far, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes impact the health of non-users. People “smoking” an e-cigarette are actually just exhaling water vapor, which all humans do with every breath. The harm of second-hand smoke comes not from the small amounts of nicotine, but from the tar and hundreds of chemicals contained in tobacco. Additionally, e-cigarettes don’t emit tobacco’s smell, so they don’t even offend non-users’ nostrils.

 

We believe that if lawmakers are going to ban e-cigarettes, because of unknown health hazards, prove it first, and then decide to ban them and treat them on the same level as cigarettes, but until then, there are no studies to whether they are harmful to users and non-users.

 

Not only would this law do nothing to protect innocent bystanders, but it could actually have a negative impact on the health of tobacco users. As stated above, research is still being done to determine the health effects of e-cigarettes, but there is significant anecdotal evidence of cigarette users switching to e-cigarettes, in order to satisfy their nicotine cravings while avoiding many of the worst effects of tobacco.

 

There are many blogs of former cigarette users blogging on their progress and how they have changed when they switched to e-cigarettes.

 

So, again, grab your computers and write that email to your state senator and tell them to say “No” to SB 648 and stop this non-sense. Instead tell them to tackle on a more serious issue.

You can visit the California State Senate website and see which senator is in your district at this link http://senate.ca.gov/senators

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