Matt Salmon, president of the Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA), today praised California Governor Schwarzenegger’s wise decision to veto Senate Bill 400, which would have banned electronic cigarette sales in the state, protecting adult consumers’ access to these alternative smoking devices.
“This is not just a victory for consumers and common sense but is smart public policy as well,” said Salmon. “Rejecting this bill is the right step and should serve as a model for other states to follow.”
In his veto message, Governor Schwarzenegger reiterated the stance of the ECA that strongly supports restricting access of electronic cigarettes to children under the age of 18. “We agree with the original intent of SB 400 to ban sales to those under the legal smoking age. And we support that on a national level as well,” added Salmon.
The Governor affirmed that this restriction should not apply to adult consumers: “If adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so unless and until federal law changes the legal status of these tobacco products.”
The ECA actively communicated to the Governor its members’ concerns about the bill and the fact that banning these electronic cigarettes would disenfranchise thousands of California adult smokers who have difficulty quitting but want an alternative to combustible cigarettes without the host of carcinogens and harmful chemicals. Salmon credited this legislative victory to the efforts of thousands of consumers and ECA members who appealed directly to Governor Schwarzenegger to protect their rights.
“While we know that combustible tobacco smoking kills over 400,000 Americans annually, and the percentage of smokers that quit every year is dismally low, we ought to be looking for more alternatives to traditional combustible tobacco products,” said Salmon.
Electronic cigarette kits usually include the electronic cigarette, a replaceable cartridge pack (that may or may not contain nicotine), rechargeable lithium batteries, and a charger. There is some variation between different companies in what is included in their starter kit, but all components are listed on their Web sites. While ECA members do not market these devices as a healthy alternative or smoking cessation device, it is clear that they do not contain the harmful tars and hundreds of carcinogens that consumers get from combustible tobacco products.
“We look forward to working with all government agencies, including the FDA, to ensure that consumers who want an alternative to combustible tobacco products have access to e-cigarettes that contain fewer harmful substances and produce no secondhand smoke,” concluded Salmon.