October 2019 Update
We are updating this page to include pertinent information about the 2019 lung disease outbreak related to vaping. We will update the rest of the page and state actions table below later in 2019 or early 2020.
Updated law and regulation overviews are available under the 2019 listing under Resources and News Items at the bottom of this page. Governors' Actions are highlighted here.
Governors' and Health Department Actions
As of Oct. 1, 2019, no state legislature has acted to ban e-cigarettes or vaping devices. This list may not include every state action taken to date.
- Michigan, Executive Order to Ban | Sept. 4, 2019 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said the ban was effective immediately and gave retailers, including online sellers, two weeks to comply. The ban includes menthol and mint-flavored products and expires after 180 days if not extended. Michigan’s rules also ban any description of vapor products as “clean, safe, harmless or healthy” and limit advertising of vapor products near candy, food and soft drinks in stores.
- California, Executive Order | Sept. 16 ,2019 – “California Department of Public Health (CDPH) shall develop recommendations to reduce the availability of vaping devices to persons under 21 years of age, which shall include, to the extent permissible by law, establishment of warning signs about the health risks of vaping at retailers where any vaping product is sold and in an vaping advertisement, and increased enforcement regarding illegal sales of vaping products and specifically e-liquid flavors to youth.”
- New York, Executive Order | Sept. 15, 2019 – The “Department of Health shall work with the State Education Department to immediately develop and deploy materials, including and age-appropriate curriculum for use by school districts to increase awareness of the need to prevent e-cigarette, liquid nicotine and vape pen use. Such efforts shall include posting conspicuous signage warning against the dangers of illegal e-cigarette and e-liquid products as set out in the emergency regulations.” Department of Health also issued the following memo on Sept. 26, 2019 about menthol vaping products. As of Oct. 8, 2019, the state has decided to delay the ban on menthol until a court case is settled.
- Utah Department of Health | Oct. 3, 2019 - The Utah Department of Health is enacting an emergency administrative rule to address the outbreak of vaping-related lung injury cases.
- Rhode Island Department of Health | October 5, 2019 - The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is promulgating emergency regulations in order to prohibit manufacture, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of, or the possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, sell, or offer for sale flavored electronic nicotine-delivery system products to consumers in Rhode Island. Also requiring licensing of electronic nicotine-delivery system distributors and dealers.
- Hawaii Department of Health | Oct. 7, 2019 - The Hawaii Department of Health issued an advisory about vaping.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday, May 5, 2016, that it would take over the regulation of e-cigarettes and prohibit their sale to minors under age 18.
Tobacco 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, which is expelled as vapor or aerosol. They come in many forms, but most often look like a plastic or glass cigarette or rod. The liquid cartridges or tanks 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. See the statement above.
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.
The 2017 E-cigarette Legislation 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. This table will be updated in late 2019.
The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.
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.
- 2019 Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Outbreak of Lung Disease Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) This resource provides current FDA regulations, manufacturing regulations, warnings on packages and information on retail sales
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Lung Illnesses Associated with Use of Vaping Products Information for the Public, FDA Actions, and Recommendations
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials: Statewide Banning of Flavored E-Cigarettes and Other Strategies to Reduce E-Cigarette Use
- Public Health Policy Law Center- Youth Access to E-Cigarettes Currently, eight states have an access law of 21 years old. Three states have an access law of 19 years old, and 38 states have an access law of 18 years old
- Public Health Policy Law Center- U.S. E-Cigarette Regulations – 50 State Review (2019) Provides a 50-state review of definitions of “tobacco product,” taxation, product packaging, youth access/other retail restrictions, licensure and smoke-free legislation.
- NCSL LegisBrief: Electronic Cigarettes and Alternative Nicotine Products
- American Association of Public Health Physicians
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association: background and policy statement about e-cigarettes
- American Public Health Association
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
- ASTHO and NACCHO (National Association of County and City Health Officials) co-hosted webinar: "E-Cigarettes: A Path to Policy, Perspectives from Local and State Health Departments"
- Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, including state and local laws regarding electronic cigarettes
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- 2014 Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking- 50 Years of Progress
- E-Cigarette Politics (supportive of tobacco harm-reduction methods)
- FDA statement about electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products
- FDA News & Events about electronic cigarettes
- Public Health Law Center's Tobacco Control Legal Consortium- E-Cigarette Taxation: Frequently Asked Questions
- Public Health Law Center's Tobacco Control Legal Consortium: Regulating Electronic Cigarettes and Similar Devices
- Public Health Law Center U.S. E-Cigarette Regulation- 50-state review (May 2015)
- Smokers Who Try E-Cigarettes to Quit Smoking: Findings From a Multiethnic Study in Hawaii
- Tobacco firms plead case at White House, Dec. 2, 2013
- University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education blog