SACRAMENTO, CA -- California lawmakers voted down a bill that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes through vending machines in the Golden State.
The bill (SB 648) by Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) originally proposed to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in the same places where traditional cigarettes are banned. That version of the bill passed in the Senate in 2013 but stalled when it reached the Assembly's governmental organization committee, chaired by Isadore Hall (D-Los Angeles).
Corbett rewrote the bill, but inserted language that was opposed by health advocates from the cancer, lung, and heart associations who said it would define e-cigarettes in a way that that the industry could misuse to lessen the impact of federal regulatory efforts. Those concerns prompted the Assembly appropriations committee to kill the measure in its Aug. 8 vote.
Both Democrats and Republicans accused each other of supporting the interests of tobacco companies at the cost of public health. Hall has reportedly taken $35,700 in campaign contributions from tobacco companies over the past five years, while Corbett has not received any donation from them.
The Food and Drug Administration released proposed rules on April 25 that call for strict regulation of electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products, including restricting sales through vending machines. | READ MORE