California college campuses could go smoke- and vape-free in 2016 if California Assemblyman Kevin McCarty gets his way.
The Sacramento Democrat’s first bill of the year would ban all smoking and vaping on public college campuses, including community colleges and the California State University (CSU) system.
Already, six of California’s 23 CSUs enforce smoking bans, but McCarty isn’t satisfied with the pace of change. “They’re going slower than we would have liked, so our bill pushes the envelope by having a uniform state policy sooner rather than later,” McCarty told The Sacramento Bee.
“College campuses should be healthy environments to learn,” he added in the Friday report.“There is more and more research coming out every day on the negative impacts of vaping for the individual and, potentially, people in the vicinity.”
The bill, introduced last Wednesday, would authorize fines of up to $100. The money raised from fines will be used to promote anti-tobacco efforts on campus. California is home to some of the country’s strictest anti-smoking laws, as well as some the most questionable e-cigarette research.
A study conducted by a research team at the University of California, San Diego investigated how e-cigarettes may contribute to the development and progression of cancer.
The research team “created an extract from the vapor of two popular brands of e-cigarettes and used it to treat human cells in Petri dishes. Compared with untreated cells, the treated cells were more likely to show DNA damage and die.”
The study made headlines across the world, including a piece in The Daily Telegraph titled “E-cigarettes are no safer than smoking tobacco, scientists warn,” which was subjected to a barrage of criticism. (RELATED: Journalist Called Out For ‘Irresponsible’ E-Cigarette Scare Story)
Researchers concluded that two e-cigarette products analyzed “damaged cells in ways that could lead to cancer.” But the study was quickly criticized for not adequately explaining the comparison with regular cigarettes and for using a methodology that bears no relationship to real world vaping. (RELATED: Media Are Distorting Dubious Study Claiming E-Cigarettes Can Cause Cancer)
One of the study’s lead researchers, Dr. Jessica Wang-Rodriguez, even went so far as to say “I believe they [e-cigarettes] are no better than smoking regular cigarettes.”
Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the department of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health with 25 years of experience in the field of tobacco control, slammed Wang-Rodriguez’s analysis. He told The Daily Caller News Foundation “not only is this conclusion baseless, but it is damaging to the public’s health. It undermines decades of public education about the severe hazards of cigarette smoking.”
“To declare that smoking is no more hazardous than using e-cigarettes, a non-tobacco-containing product is a false and irresponsible claim.”
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