A bill that would regulate e-cigarettes, plastic devices similar to conventional cigarettes that use smoke-less nicotine cartridges, passed the State Senate, 21-10, Friday. Today is the final day of the Legislative calendar for bills to pass through the house of origin or remain in suspense for the next year.
SB 648, authored by State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, regulates e-cigarettes sold in California, but also places conditions on their use in public spaces similar to other smoke-free bans on cigarettes.
“We must always stand on the side of public health since we still do not yet fully understand the safety of chemicals present in e-cigarette vapors or when nicotine itself leaks from the products,” said Corbett. “It simply makes sense to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product when they are already prohibited in many public spaces.”
This is not the first time Corbett has taken aim at e-cigarettes in the senate. Two years ago, Corbett's bill seeking to rid independent vendors of e-cigarettes from selling to minors, with penalties, was signed into law. Some cartridges for e-cigarettes are flavored with fruity flavors some critics charge is a veiled effort to market the burgeoning devices to children.
Amtrak has a ban on their use on trains and the Navy prohibits e-cigarettes in submarines, says Corbett’s office, and the U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a ban aboard airplanes.