With a bold and decisive stroke of his pen, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may have put to rest a bill that would have banned the electronic cigarette from the state of California. This action by the Governor has put this bill back in the hands of lawmakers to either try to get to a 2/3 majority to override the veto or re-write the bill so that it just regulates the age restrictions, which would have likely passed and been signed without any problems.
"We do not mind regulation" states Tiffany Ellis of E Cigarettes National, "We just do not want them banned, and like the Governor stated, it should be left to the discretion of the adult choosing to use them, not policy makers." Like Ellis, most suppliers and retailers claim that they do not mind regulation and age restrictions, but strongly oppose any bans to the e cigarettes that they use and market to the public.
The message sent to the lawmakers by the Governor was clear and explained his motives in full concerning the rights of the people and current litigation on the matter in a federal court or law. Below is a copy of the message sent back to state lawmakers. you can read the official message here.
To the Members of the California State Senate: I am returning Senate Bill 400 without my signature.
While I support restricting access of electronic cigarettes to children under the age of 18, I cannot sign a measure that also declares them a federally regulated drug when the matter is currently being decided through pending litigation.
Items defined as “tobacco products” are legal for anyone over the age of 18. If adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so unless and until federal law changes the legal status of these tobacco products.
For this reason, I am unable to sign this bill.
"I believe it shows wisdom on the Governors part by understanding that just because an arm of the government "declares" something illegal does not in fact mean that it is illegal and should be banned. We applaud the Governor for acting on the understanding that the FDA does not have the ability to "declare a law", but rather, they are an instrument and enforcement arm of the laws that are made and decided on by our judicial system and lawmakers" says Ellis, " It is about time a high level politician stood up for the rights of the people of the United States, and not for government and special interest."
Only time will tell if the lawmakers of California will get the message from the people and the governor and halt any attempts at banning e cigarettes prior to a federal ruling, or pushing for a 2/3 vote to override the governor and the people of California.
Last updated by irieb Nov 7, 2009.