We went to the Berkeley City Council meeting on September 9th (the day after we got home from Ontario, CA. where we were to attend some meetings and ECC) to set the record straight after the city council and our opponents (the body parts people such as the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Tobacco Free Kids, etc. and the various other tobacco control groups) had done a hostile and violent bashing job on electronic cigarettes and vapor products at their previous meeting on the same topic on July the 8th. At the time only two people were present to oppose the ordinance. We had no reasonable expectation to “win” (in short; “because it’s Berkeley”) but needed to address it regardless. For about a month I put out the word and request to join us at the next council meeting, in various places including several specific to vapers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I had not expected a huge turn out but what we got was beyond disappointing. But let me get into that a little later in this report and start off with out strategy and what transpired.
This is probably going to be a lengthy summary of the second death of CA SB648 and one that is particularly difficult to explain in detail and with all its facets so I’ll try and keep it short and to the point because in reality, this is not any longer about a common sense bill that both vapers and industry supported but about how anti-tobacco groups (including the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society CAN, and California Medical Association) opposed a bill that would protect minors from having access to e-cigarettes via vending machines. It is about the true face of tobacco control and their true motives. I will spare you the long history of SB648 and how it went from the bill it once was into a bill that focused solely on vending machines and preventing minors from having access. Instead, I will go back to June 25th when we were at the State Capitol in Sacramento for the SB648 hearing in which we wholeheartedly supported the bill. You can read more about that on my wife’s website in the post about California SB648 Turns on a Definition.
The following is a breakdown and post analysis of the recent Oakley City Council meeting on the subject of banning the outdoor public use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs, which we refer to as vapor products and Tobacco Harm Reduction alternatives to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes). I am sad to provide this post analysis by highlighting the kind of blatant ignorance that not only us here, in Oakley, but millions of vapers (users of vapor products who are usually ex-smokers!) are confronted with on an almost daily basis. Let’s start you off with the video of the agenda item here. I will insert relevant parts of the recording along with time stamps.
Tom Baker, of “ECF fame”, had asked me a few times to debate him. He recently did so again in the most recent broadcast of Click-Bang radio with Russ Wishtart. Because the debate with Tom kept going on, and on, and on, like an endless downward spiral into madness, then plan was to have another episode with Tom next Tuesday June 10th at 9PM EST. I said I was going to call in. I was looking forward to that but just learned I will not be able to make it at that time because of THIS. I just, moments ago, received an e-mail notifying me that the electronic cigarette usage ban in Oakley, CA. has been put on the agenda for the city council. Unfortunately the time of the meeting intersects directly with Click-Bang. I’m sorry I will have to miss out on Click-Bang and Tom but when it comes to making a decision between fighting a local ban we had been preparing to do and going on air to battle an intellectually unarmed opponent the choice is not that hard. Tom and the entertainment value associated with him is just not important enough to distract me from what we’re really supposed to be doing.
The reason I am calling Assemblyman Dickinson a LIAR, in public, is because written testimony by many adult vapers has clearly stated many times before that we adults like flavors. We adults like flavors as much as children do. In fact, we love our e-juice flavors because it is part of what helps us stay off cigarettes. For him to state this “adults are not interested in flavors” as a fact is beyond infuriating but maybe this was Mr. Dickinson’s intention. If so, it shows what a horrible person he is. He doesn’t know any adult who likes flavors… and yet several were sitting right behind him that morning and many more told him clearly before these hearings.