Dear Rep. Salinas,

The R Street Institute is writing to oppose House Bill 4078, which creates an emergency law prohibiting the remote sales of vaping systems. R Street is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank with a western office in Sacramento, Calif. One of our core issues is harm reduction, which encourages policy makers to promote policies that reduce harm rather than simply insist on abstinence.

Our research finds that laws that make it more difficult for smokers to access e-cigarettes can undermine public health. In 2016, the Royal College of Physicians, one of the oldest, most venerable professional medical bodies in the world, published an authoritative report demonstrating the long-term health hazard posed by e-cigarettes is less than 5 percent of the harm from smoking.

We believe that this legislation will make it tougher for smokers to access less-dangerous vaping products by limiting access to online purchases. Our research also finds that online purchases actually are less susceptible to underage access than store purchases. In fact, social sourcing is the primary mechanism that minors use when experimenting with or initiating use of tobacco products.

We also disagree with the need to pass this on an emergency basis. The only emergency situation regards vaping-related lung diseases, but the federal Centers for Disease Control has tied that almost entirely to black-market, THC-related products.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Steven Greenhut