consideration in the Assembly.
Opponents of Corbett's legislation, which include makers of e-cigarettes, say lumping them in with their traditional counterparts makes no sense. The California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators, a group that accredits addiction counselors and their training programs, has endorsed the use of e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking, and has announced its opposition to SB 648.
Several studies also suggest e-cigarette vapor is safe for users and those around them. A Swiss study earlier this year concluded that liquid used in e-cigarettes was accurately labeled and that impurities in the vapor were unlikely to be harmful. A Polish study released in March found toxins such as formaldehyde and lead at far lower levels than those in cigarette smoke.
Jan Parcel of Cupertino spoke against Corbett's bill during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. She's a vaper and a volunteer with the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, or CASAA, a nonprofit group that claims more than 4,000 members nationwide.
In response to a 2011 FDA study that found nicotine in secondhand vapor, Parcel said that chili peppers and tomatoes contain some nicotine, too.
What about other toxic chemicals? Parcel pointed out that nonstick pans and fried foods also have been found to contain carcinogens.
Parcel argued that e-cigarettes are a consumer product and shouldn't be regulated like a tobacco product. "Coffee varies wildly in caffeine, but I don't see anyone saying that Starbucks has to be regulated," she said.
CASAA doesn't reveal where its money comes from, other than to say the majority of its donations are made by e-cigarette users through the group's website. Carl Phillips, the group's scientific director, said in an interview he has received funding from tobacco companies, and said working with the companies themselves is the best way to reduce the harm of tobacco.
"You gotta go where the money and the power and the marketing ability are," he said. "To maintain some sense of purity at the expense of practicality -- well, people are dying in the meantime."
Phillips said smokeless options such as e-cigarettes are "the single most potentially beneficial public health innovation in the Western world."
Such alternatives pose "so close to zero risk that it hardly matters," comparable to occasionally breathing exhaust fumes while walking on the street, he said.
Still, many experts say more research needs to be done before e-cigarettes are labeled a poison or a better way to quit smoking, and they agree that the products are just too new for their long-term effects to be known.
In the meantime, the e-cigarette business continues to boom.
"Regulation will dampen it (business) a little," said Mark Rivers, who owns the new Vapor City store that opened June 22 in Arden Arcade. "But I really don't think people are gonna stop, because so many people dig it."
(c)2013 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
Visit The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at www.sacbee.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Most Popular Stories
- AIG to Create 230 Jobs in Charlotte
- 15 Myths That Could Ruin Your Hispanic Ad Campaign
- Russia Says Nyet to Canada North Pole Claim
- General Motors Names Mary Barra as First Female CEO
- Bipartisan Negotiators Reach Modest Budget Agreement
- Justin Bieber Visits Typhoon Victims, Plays Concert
- Senate Dems Move Forward With Obama Nominees
- New Obama Aide to Focus on Climate Change
- Obama Nominee Confirmed for D.C. Appeals Court
- MasterCard to Split Shares, Raise Dividend