The state of California has passed a set of laws that expand the regulations of smoking and tobacco based products. This is the first set of new laws passed in California in two decades that relate to tobacco products. These new laws were presented to and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in a set of 7 bills, on May 4th, 2016, and took effect on June 9th, 2016. The new bills related to these laws are, BX2-5, SBX2-7, ABSBX2-5, SBX2-7, ABX2-7, ABX2-9, and ABX2-11.
Within the list of new laws that have been passed, is one raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. In addition, one of the laws passed now categorizes Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping products as tobacco products, even though they do not contain any tobacco. As of Thursday June 9th, 2016 and moving forward, all those that are under the age of 21, can no longer purchase Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco, Unrolled Tobacco, hookahs, Cigarillos, Vape Pens, E Liquid or supplies.
The new laws passed now treat Vaping Devices and Electronic Cigarettes virtually identically to the standard tobacco based products. All while ignoring the fact that these products do not contain any tobacco. Vaping products are now included in the legal definition of tobacco products and using these products or devices is considered smoking or the same as smoking even though there is no smoke. This means that it is will now be a crime to sell any Electronic Cigarette or Vaping products to anyone under the age of 21 in California, and that if a retailer or merchant is caught doing so they will be subject to fines and possibly further consequences. This also includes Electronic Cigarette or Vaping products that are sold online to anyone in the state of California. These new laws that have been passed by the State of California are going to make it increasingly difficult for vape shops and retailers to successfully operate their business. Particularly for online Vape retailers within and outside of the state, that will now have to worry about having the ability to prove that the California purchaser of their product is over the age of 21, without having the ability to physically see identification.