SFATA-California Urges Assembly Governmental Organization Committee to Vote ‘No’ on SB 140

Industry Vapor Association Sends Memo to Committee Members Outlining Concerns in Advance of Upcoming Vote on July 8

LOS ANGELES & SACRAMENTO, Calif.--()--The California chapters of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) this week released a memo to Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) and members of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee announcing opposition to Senate Bill 140 (SB 140), a measure introduced by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) that seeks to define e-cigs and vapor products as “tobacco” and makes related changes to existing law.

“E-cigarette versus nicotine inhaler: comparing the perceptions and experiences of inhaled nicotine devices”

The memo, authored by the co-presidents of SFATA’s Southern California and Northern California chapters, in conjunction with the association’s executive director, Cynthia Cabrera, makes clear that the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association supports prohibitions on selling to minors and is willing to engage in discussions regarding reasonable licensure requirements.

“While we agree with the need for sensible regulation of vapor products and e-cigs, it’s important to understand that vapor products are technology products and should not be associated with combustible tobacco,” said Cabrera. “Regulation, classification, and treatment of vapor products should be approached from a position of endeavoring to protect the public health from death and disease caused by smoking, rather than paving the way for operational burdens for vapor products that provide an alternative for millions of adult smokers.”

SFATA also believes that SB 140 has potentially unwarranted tobacco tax-related implications. Several points outlined in the memo include:

  • SB 140 fails to address the fact that vapor products are significant alternatives to smoking, which kills 40,000 adult smokers each year in California and more than 480,000 adults across the country.
  • The majority of the scientific community believes e-cigs and vapor products can be effective in achieving the goal of harm reduction. According to Peter Hajek of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at London's Queen Mary University, vapor products are 95 percent less harmful alternatives to smoking.
  • While e-cigs are not approved smoking cessation devices, a majority of scientific evidence suggests that vapor products help smokers quit smoking. A December 2014 meta-analyses conducted on behalf of the American Heart Association suggests that the use of e-cigarettes may be an effective alternate smoking cessation method. Additionally, a March 2015 study titled, “E-cigarette versus nicotine inhaler: comparing the perceptions and experiences of inhaled nicotine devices,” found that more subjects would use an e-cigarette to make a quit attempt (76 percent) than the inhaler (24 percent).
  • The potential for harm reduction of current smokers who use e-cigs will flow directly into lower healthcare costs dealing with the morbidity and mortality stemming from smoking combustible cigarettes, according to a report from State Budget Solutions. The report states that these benefits will particularly impact the Medicaid system where the prevalence of cigarette smoking is twice that of the general public (51 percent versus 21 percent respectively). In California, 45 percent of adult smokers receive Medicaid, resulting in a $5.5 billion impact on all Medicaid expenditures.
  • Smoking costs the state of California $26.9 billion in economic losses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The Tobacco Control Act was passed to regulate tobacco and the smoking of tobacco because of the known serious adverse health consequences of tobacco smoking; it wasn’t meant to apply to vapor products, including e-liquids and e-cigs.

“There are several points in SB 140 we agree with, such as prohibiting sales of vapor products to minors, licensing and allowing vaping indoors at vape shops,” added Cabrera. “However, this legislation fails to recognize that positive impact e-cigs and vapor products can have on California’s public health, and for this reason we must respectfully oppose SB 140 and request a NO vote.”

About SFATA

Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry representing members across the country, including online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, importers and wholesalers. For more information, visit SFATA.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @SFATA.

Contacts

PondelWilkinson
George Medici | Matt Sheldon
gmedici@pondel.com | msheldon@pondel.com
310-279-5980

Release Summary

SFATA-California Urges Assembly Governmental Organization Committee to Vote ‘No’ on SB 140: Industry Vapor Association Sends Memo to Committee Members Outlining Concerns in Advance of Upcoming Vote

Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association