The Bee’s lauding of Senate Bill 5 – a proposed bill which would treat vaporizers and e-cigarettes as tobacco products, despite the profound fundamental differences between the two – is misguided.
The long-term health risks of vaping are not fully known, but some reputable studies indicate that it could be as much as 95 percent less harmful than smoking. It is meaningless to say that vape juice “contains toxic chemicals.” So do foods that we consume every day. What matters is whether it contains enough of those chemicals to produce a deleterious effect on the user. As to that question, the simple answer is that we don’t know.
What we do know is that vaping supports a large number of jobs right here in the Valley. We also know that vaping may help people quit smoking cigarettes. More importantly, we know (or should know) that in a free society, the burden of proof should be on the proponent of a law that seeks to restrict the behavior of adults. It is the Legislature’s burden to prove to the public that vaping is equivalent to smoking and merits equivalent regulation. We should not regulate first and ask questions later.
Jackson Waste, Fresno