As the popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to grow in the U.S. and worldwide, local and state authorities across America are taking steps to ensure that these smoking alternatives are kept out of the hands of minors. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs are not yet regulated by federal law and, therefore, can be sold to anyone. They don’t have to be kept behind the counter like tobacco cigarettes and proof of age is not required for their sale. While the majority of e-cigarette manufacturers already abide by the same regulations applied to tobacco products, the general consensus is that regulations on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors should be implemented before children and teenagers realize they are legally able to purchase and use.
Selling E-Cigarettes to Minors: Age Restrictions Across the U.S.
Currently, Indiana, Mississippi, California, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina have all either put forth a formal request for age restrictions or passed a bill into law concerning the sale to minors. These regulations would involve heavy penalties for any business found to have sold electronic cigarettes to an underage customer, including but not limited to hefty fines and suspension of various licenses. Minors in possession of or found using the newly banned devices may face a fine as well, with the amount varying by state.
The ultimate objective of these new restrictions is to legally treat the advertisement, sale and use of electronic cigarettes in the same way that tobacco products are treated as outlined by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. Among other regulations, the law prevents the outdoor advertisement of tobacco products within 1,000 feet of playgrounds and schools, makes age verification mandatory before a sale is made and bans any sponsorship of tobacco products by sports teams or entertainment venues.
Related: Age Restrictions for Buying E-Cigs
Regulating E-Cigs: Concerns for Minors
Many of the individuals and organizations responsible for the introduction of these new restrictions claim that the health of our country’s youth is a primary concern, calling electronic cigarettes a potential gateway to tobacco products. They cannot say yet that e-cigs are harmful but do stress that more advanced testing is necessary before any accurate health claims can be made. In the meantime, the aim is to ensure that the electronic cigarette is a product marketed and sold exclusively to individuals over the age of 18.
While e-cigarette companies certainly encourage current smokers to try their products as an effective tobacco alternative, they do not endeavor to sell to non-smokers, minors or people who have successfully quit smoking in the past. Like many other top electronic cigarette companies in the United States, White Cloud self-regulates the advertisement of its products and supports all measures aimed at restricting sale of e cigarettes to minors. Though law does not yet require this type of regulation, an ongoing commitment to moral integrity continues to help prevent underage purchase and use of White Cloud electronic cigarettes throughout the country.