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Alternative Nicotine Products e Cigarettes

Alternative Nicotine Products | Electronic Cigarettes

11/13/2014

e-cigaretteTobacco and its use have been regulated for decades. Reports of the negative public and personal health effects of traditional forms of tobacco use have increased consumer awareness. This, in turn, has encouraged people and companies to look for alternative or potentially safer forms of adult tobacco and nicotine use. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) --also known as vaporizers, digital, electronic or e-cigarettes--do not produce a combustible “smoke” like traditionally burned cigarettes, nor do they contain tar, a by-product of burning tobacco. Instead, they contain a small battery that converts a liquid from small cartridges into a water-based mist or vapor.  They come in many forms, but most often look like a plastic or glass cigarette or rod. The liquid cartridges may contain various amounts of tobacco-based nicotine, synthetic nicotine, or no nicotine at all, and flavorings and propellants. Research studies on the personal and public health effects of the vapor produced by these products have been inconclusive.

This lack of consistent, scientific research has health groups divided. Some public health organizations believe that the products are not a safe alternative to traditional tobacco consumption and would like the Food and Drug Administration to regulate products as new or other tobacco products, as is allowed under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. Other health professionals assert that nicotine vapor products may be a risk-reduced method of nicotine use and therefore may help reduce use of traditional forms of tobacco with more serious health risks. While the FDA stated in 2011 that it planned to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, no rules or regulations have been issued.

On April 25, 2014, the FDA released proposed regulations for "Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act".  These regulations would include electronic cigarettes and other alternative tobacco and nicotine products.  The 75-day public comment period was extended through August  8, 2014. 

Electronic cigarette and liquid cartridge manufacturers, which include some traditional tobacco companies, state that they are looking for new, potentially safer ways, to allow adults to use nicotine and tobacco products where they otherwise face restrictions on smoking in public places.

Vaporizers have been gaining popularity in the U.S. and some state legislatures are taking action to regulate these products either similarly to other tobacco products, or as different products altogether.

The following actions have been taken in recent years to regulate the sale and use of electronic vaporizing products. At least 41 states and 1 territory currently prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes or vaping/alternative tobacco products to minors. Michigan's bill to prohibit sales to minors is pending governor's signature as of mid-September. 

Table is a work in progress and hyperlinks will be updated as soon after new laws are adopted. This table may not necessarily include all state statutes or actions on this issue.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or use the dropdown menu option to select a state.

State Actions

State/Citation

Summary of policy/policies

Alabama
Ala. Code §28-11-2  (2013)

Defines alternative nicotine products, bans sales to minors under 19.

Alaska
Alaska Stat. §11.76.109 (2012)

Defines criminal behavior to include selling, giving or exchanging a product containing nicotine to a minor under 19.

Arizona
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §13-3622

Defines vapor product and crime of furnishing a vapor product to a minor under 18.

Arkansas
Ark. Stat. Ann. §5-27-233 (2013)

Defines e-cigarette/vapor device and prohibits sale, giving or exchanging of products to minors under 18.

California
Cal. Health & Saf Code §119405 (2013)

Defines e-cigarette device and prohibits sale or transfer of product to a minor under 18.

Colorado
Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-13-121 (2014)

Defines e-cigarette as a tobacco product and prohibits sale or transfer of product to a minor under 18.

Connecticut
SB No. 24 Public Act No. 14-76
Defines electronic nicotine delivery system, vapor product, and prohibits sale of products to a minor under 18. (Effective 10/1/2014)
Delaware
HB 241 (2014) 
Defines tobacco substitute and prohibits the sale of products to a minor under 18. (Signed by governor 6/12/14)
Florida
SB 224 (2014)
Prohibits the sale of nicotine dispensing devices to anyone under 18. (Signed by governor 6/13/14, effective 7/1/14)
Georgia
HB 251 (2014)
Defines alternative nicotine product and prohibits the sale to minors under 18. (Effective 7/1/14)

Hawaii
Hawaii Rev. Stat. §709-908

Defines electronic smoking device and prohibits sale or furnishing of product to a minor under 18.

Idaho
Idaho Code §39-5702  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5703  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5705  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5706  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5708  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5714  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5715  (2013)

Idaho Code §39-5717A  (2013)

Defines e-cigarette and prohibits sale or transfer of product to minor under 18 through in-person or vending machine sales. Imposes a fine for sales to minors. Prohibits delivery to a minor.

Illinois
720 ILCS 675/1.5

 

Defines alternative nicotine products and prohibits distribution to a minor. Imposes a fine for sales to minors under 18.

Indiana
Ind. Code §35-46-1-1.5
Ind. Code §35-46-1-10
Ind. Code §6-7-2-5
Ind. Code §35-46-1-10.2

Defines electronic cigarette and tobacco products, and prohibits distribution to a minor. Imposes a fine for sales to minors under 18.

Iowa
HF 2109 (2014)
Defines electronic cigarettes as vapor products, also defines alternative nicotine product and prohibits distribution to a minor under 18. (Signed by governor 5/23/14)

Kansas
Kan. Stat. Ann. §79-3321 (2012)

Prohibits sale or distribution to a minor. Imposes a fine for sales to minors under 18.

Kentucky
SB 109 (2014)
Prohibits sale to a minor under 18. (Passed 3/31/2014, signed by governor 4/14/14)
Louisiana
SB 12 (2014)
Defines alternative nicotine products, electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, and prohibits sale to a minor under 18. (Signed by governor 5/29/14)

Maryland
Md. Health-General Code Ann. §24-305  (2013)

Defines electronic device and prohibits sale or distribution to minors under 18.

Michigan
SB 668 (2014)
Adds vapor and alternative nicotine products to youth tobacco act and prohibits sale or distribution to minors under 18. (Passed legislature, ordered enrolled 6/12/14- NOT YET LAW)

Minnesota
Minn. Stat. §609.6855

Minn. Stat. §297F.01, subd. 19

Specific ecig/vapor tax information

Defines nicotine delivery products, tobacco-related devices and electronic delivery device, and prohibits sale to minors under 18.
Defines the taxing methods applied to ecigarettes and alternative nicotine/vapor products. Requires child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers.

Mississippi
Miss. Code Ann. §97-32-51 (2013)

Defines alternative nicotine product and electronic cigarette and prohibits sale to minors under 18.

Missouri
SB 841
Defines alternative nicotine and vapor products, and prohibits sale to minors under 18. States that alternative nicotine and vapor products are not to be regulated or taxed as tobacco products.  Vapor product does not include any alternative nicotine product or tobacco product.  (Sent to governor 5/12/14, who vetoed on July 15, 2014, but legislature overturned on September 10, 2014)
Nebraska
LB 863 (2014)
Defines alternative nicotine and vapor products and prohibits sale to minors. (Signed by governor on 4/9/14)

Nevada
2013 Nev. Stats. Chap. 326

Nev. Rev. Stats.  §202.2485-§202.2497

Defines products made or derived from tobacco, which also prohibits sale to minors under 18.

New Hampshire
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §126-K:2 (2013)

Defines e-cigarette, liquid nicotine, and tobacco product. Also prohibits sale to minors under 18.

New Jersey
N.J. Stat. Ann. §2A:170-51.4 (2013)

Defines and adds e-cigarette to list of tobacco-related items that cannot be sold to minors under 19. Creates a fine for selling to a minor.

New York
N.Y. Public Health Law §1399-aa  (2013)
N.Y. Public Health Law §1399-cc  (2013)

Defines tobacco products, e-cigarette and bans sales to minors under 18.

North Carolina
N.C. Gen. Stat.  §14-313
HB 1050 (2014)

Defines tobacco-derived products and vapor products, and bans sales to minors under 18.

Taxes liquid nicotine at 5 cents per milliliter. 

North Dakota
NDCC 23-12-09
Defines e-cigarette as a smoking device as it pertains to clean indoor air regulations. Does NOT currently have a law prohibiting sales to minors.

Ohio

HB 144 (2014)

Defines e-cigarette as an alternative nicotine product and prohibits sales to minors under 18. (Signed by governor 3/4/14, effective 8/2/14)
Oklahoma
SB 1602 (2014)
Defines vapor product, prohibits sale to minors under 18 and prohibits use within 300 feet of schools. (Effective 11/1/2014)

Oregon

(judicial order)
 

OR DOJ Settlement prohibits sale of e-cigarettes until they are FDA approved, or until court rules FDA cannot regulate them and scientific research can prove them safe. In addition, the companies must give the Attorney General advance notice that they intend to sell electronic cigarettes in Oregon, provide copies of all electronic cigarette advertising, and provide copies of the scientific studies they maintain substantiates their claims. *State does not claim to prohibit sales to minors.

Rhode Island
HB 7021 (2014)
Defines and adds electronic nicotine delivery system to definition of tobacco products and prohibits sale to minors under 18. (Signed by governor 6/30/14)

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. §16-17-500

Defines alternative nicotine product and e-cigarette, also prohibits sale to minors under 18 if the product includes nicotine.

South Dakota
SB 181 (signed by governor 3/31/14)
Defines vapor product as a tobacco product and adds to list of products prohibited for minors under 18.

Tennessee
Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-1502  (2013)

Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-1503  (2013)

Defines electronic cigarettes and adds to list of tobacco products prohibited for minors under 18.

Texas

Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. §161.252

Adds tobacco substitute or tobacco products to definition of tobacco products prohibited for minors under 18. The state does not consider electronic cigarettes a "tobacco substitute," therefore the state does NOT prohibit e-cigarettes sales to minors.

Utah

Utah Code Ann. §76-10-105.1 

Utah Code Ann. §76-10-101 

Defines e-cigarettes and requirements to sell e-cigarettes, and prohibits e-cigarettes for minors under 19.

Vermont

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 32 § 7702
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 7 §1005

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 7 §1003

VT SB 239 (2014, Effective Jan. 1, 2015)

Defines tobacco substitutes, paraphernalia and products, to includes e-cigarettes and other vapor devices. Also prohibits sale to minors under 18.

 

Adds liquid nicotine cartridges to the list of products that must meet federal child-resistant effective packaging standards to be sold in the state of Vermont.

Virginia
§ 18.2-371.2 Chapter 357 (Signed 3/27/2014)

§ 22.1-79.5 - Chapter 326 (2014)

Prohibits the sale, distribution and use of electronic cigarettes, vapor products and other alternative nicotine products to persons under the age of 18. Bans the use of electronic cigarettes on/in school property.

Washington
Wash. Rev. Code §26.28.080

Adds vapor product to items prohibited for minors under 18.

West Virginia
HB 4237

Prohibits the sale, distribution and use of electronic cigarettes, vapor products and other alternative nicotine products to persons under the age of 18. (signed by governor and effective 6/6/14)

Wisconsin
Wis. Stat. §134.66

Adds “nicotine products” to items prohibited for minors under 18.

Wyoming
Wyo. Stat. §14-3-301(a)(i)

Defines “tobacco products” to include any product that is made from or contains nicotine. Defines electronic cigarette. Also prohibited for minors under 18.

US Virgin Islands
ALS 7595
(2014)
Definites "electronic cigarette" and "alternative tobacco product" and prohibits sale to minors.

Additional Resources

Resources and News Items*

*NCSL has gathered information from many health and tobacco-related blogs and organizations that study this issue.  Some of these resources come from an advocacy or industry perspective, and inclusion on this list does not imply an endorsement from NCSL.  

Information from Industry

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