Sweeping tobacco control bills labeling electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and raising California’s smoking age to 21 are expected to clear the state Senate soon, and this action should not be tolerated, so saith Sacramento vape shop owner ‘Vaping Jezus.” The colorful and self-anointed holy man of the vaping community is named David Hansen, and he recently expressed his concerns regarding the proposed anti-vaping legislation in an eloquent statement to state lawmakers.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
According to Hansen, vaping enthusiasts need to stand up and be counted, because the government is specifically targeting the vaping industry for a plague of new taxes that will essentially become Armageddon for local vape shops. An owner of two vape businesses himself, Vaping Jezus is issuing a warning to all of his followers that the state and federal governments are trying to “demonize vaping” by equating e-cigs with traditional tobacco cigarettes.
“They try to demonize vaping so that it seems like it is just as bad as smoking, and that way they can group the two together, and then you can…tax the vaping industry equivalent to what you’re taxing the tobacco industry. But these small businesses, when the taxation goes into effect, won’t be able to afford all of the taxation and regulations that the tobacco company can, which will leave the tobacco company open to being able to take over vaping,” says Hansen.
Vaping Jesuz introduced himself as a health and vaping advocate, and a small business owner, and a credentialed school teacher of multiple subjects since 2003. With his long hair and well-groomed beard, Hansen talks clearly and coherently as he addresses the lawmakers. He does not appear to be some crackpot looking for attention and should not be confused with “The Vape God” from Instagram.
Hansen is well-spoken, knowledgeable, and authoritative. He does not truly consider himself to be a god, in the biblical sense. He appears to be just a concerned citizen who happens to have a very unique appearance.
According to Hansen, multiple different plants contain nicotine, including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, the belladonna plant, and, of course, tobacco. Therefore, “tobacco” and “nicotine” are completely different things.
Meanwhile, e-juices do not contain tobacco. They sometimes contain infinitesimal amounts of nicotine. So, labeling an e-cig as a “tobacco” product is completely inappropriate. At worst, they can be called a “nicotine” product, but only if the e-juice contains nicotine. Vaping Jezus warns that if Gov. Jerry Brown signs the legislation as expected, he will be essentially committing false witness against the entire vaping industry.