Senator Mark Leno, Sponsored by Big Pharma to Defame Vaping?

In January of 2015, Senator Mark Leno proposed “Senate Bill 140 Electronic Cigarettes”, the bill we all know would label vapor devices as tobacco products.

When NorCal’s SFATA Chapter President Stefan Didak attended the first Senate Health Committee hearing April 8th, 2015, regarding this proposed bill, Senator Leno dismissed Stefan’s concerns, stating that if Vape Shops wish to permit vaping in their shops, they can apply for the same licenses required of hookah shops. While this may not sound severe, many local communities have ordinances in place that wouldn’t permit such licensure (San Mateo, San Carlos, Berkeley, Laguna Woods and Chico, to name a few).

Previously we wrote when Senator Leno has made offhanded baseless and ignorant comments, including “Whether you get people hooked on e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes, its nicotine addiction and it kills. We’re going to see hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from e-cigarette use, just like we did from traditional tobacco.” It’s apparent while Senator Leno has been well educated by his Big Pharma contributors and their ilk, he hasn’t taken the time to read the science, the studies most of us vapers are familiar with.

What Senator Leno either doesn’t realize, or simply doesn’t care about, is that if the small businesses that make up the vaping “industry” are adversely affected, many of us could very well lose access to the products that prevent us from smoking combustible cigarettes. Senator Mark Leno, if you succeed, YOU will be the reason hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from “e-cigarette” use. The research is out there, we’ve proven our argument. Special interests claiming that our research, peer reviewed studies, either don’t exist or aren’t valid because it wasn’t conducted by their in-house researchers doesn’t actually invalidate this research.

It’s as if I try to claim all kittens are born in shades of pink and blue and capable of flight, or cephalopods are capable of being leash-trained, and then walked about as if they were terrestrial household pets. Claiming something is fact, or simply wanting it to be, doesn’t make it so.

Just a cursory glance at Senator Mark Leno’s contributors include:

  • AstraZeneca; Manufacturers of Eolas Orexin-1: a receptor antagonist that will be marketed as a smoking cessation therapy.
  • GlaxoSmithKline/Johnson & Johnson: Manufacturer and distributor of Nicorette.
  • Kaiser Permanente: Currently campaigning against vaping products while suggesting NRT therapies and Wellbutrin, (an anti-depressant which is known to cause seizures, allergic skin reactions with blistering and peeling, confusion, trouble concentrating, hallucinations and unusual thoughts or behavior) are more effective as cessation aids. (When even The American Heart Association states otherwise.)
  • Serono: The bio-pharmaceutical division of Merck/Pfizer, the latter of which is the manufacturer of Chantix (the side effects of which include loss of interest or pleasure, mood swings, hallucinations, feelings of panic, suicidal ideation, suicide, and pretty much everything horribly wrong you can imagine), which Merck suggests you utilize for smoking cessation.

It’s easy to see where Senator Leno gets his (mis)information. The question is will you let him hurt our “industry” of small and local businesses? Senator Leno is WRONG. We need to stop these blatant lies from spreading.

We urge you to call your CA State representatives and let them know your concerns. If some of them aren’t in the pockets of Big Pharma or Big Tobacco yet, they may really listen to us. Alternatively if you have time and the means to join us on July 8th, 2015 in Sacramento, come out! This might be our last chance.

For more information, please visit the NorCal SFATA SB140 Quick Review. Please visit the NorCal SFATA SB140 Call To Action to see ways you can help.