Today marks an important day in the fight for fair vapor legislation. California Congressman Duncan Hunter laid out a proposal known as the Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Vapor Alternatives Act.
It is the first national bill of its kind, seeking to create a new set of laws specific to vaporizers, and to re-examine the notion that e-cigarettes are as harmful to public health as traditional tobacco products.
Focusing on Harm Reduction
The most important part of Representative Hunter’s bill is the requirement that legislators consider the value of harm reduction when creating laws regarding vapor products.
Up until this point, all legislation regarding vaporizers has lumped the devices in with traditional cigarettes, assuming that they pose the same risks and do not offer any meaningful incentive to give up smoking. Extensive research has proven the opposite, but other legislators have been resistant to recognizing the data.
Reprentative Hunter’s bill is designed to bring attention to those essential differences and get legislators to start thinking in terms of helping people stop smoking rather than punishing them for continuing to smoke. He has been quick to cite his own experience with vaporizers as evidence that vape can be an alternative to smoking.
Supporting Small Businesses
In addition to reassessing the value of e-cigarettes as a means of smoking cessation and harm reduction, Rep. Hunter has also rallied in support of small vape shop owners who have been worried about losing their businesses over the coming FDA Deeming Regulations.
The Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Vapor Alternatives Act would keep vaporizers accessible to adults, and deliver a new system of regulations for ensuring that these products are safe to use.
While the bill was introduced this morning, the full text is not yet available. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for further deliberation. It could take months for a bill to be finalized and come to a vote.
Until then vapers are calling on more representatives to join the fight for better vapor regulation and protect their businesses. Rep. Hunter says this is the first step forward for an industry that has been threatened with extinction due to an unwillingness to recognize it as its own unique technology and separate from traditional tobacco products.