Cigarette Devices & Vape Regulations
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Why E-smoking Can't Be Enjoyed Anywhere, and Laws You Need to Know About Taxes and Legal Age of Purchase
Smokeless cigarettes have become incredibly popular in the U.S. and the rest of the world, and for several reasons. First of all, e-smoking is considered by many to be a safer alternative to traditional smoking (although the truth of this statement is questioned by a number of health professionals). Additionally, e-cigarettes are smoke-free, meaning that while vapor is emitted from the device, it doesn't carry that signature smell.
While smokeless cigarettes were originally unregulated when released to the market, new state and federal controls regarding the devices and e-smoking are being considered and enforced.
Indoor Smoking Bans
For years, smoking indoors has been forbidden by states in the U.S., although the federal government has never tried to make a federal indoor smoking ban (in part because all states have taken the action autonomously). Now, indoor smoking bans may apply to e-smoking too in many places. In North Dakota, New Jersey, and Utah, for example, smokeless cigarettes are currently banned in any places where traditional cigarette smoking is banned. In Arkansas, on the other hand, the smokeless cigarettes are only prohibited on school district property. The same is true in states like Colorado and Kansas, too. No federal laws regarding banning e-smoking indoors have yet been proposed.
Regulated by the FDA as Tobacco Products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule that would allow the agency's tobacco authority to regulate smokeless cigarettes as regular cigarettes rather than "drug-delivery devices." This means smokeless cigarettes will be held to the same standards as traditional tobacco products. As such, e-cig packaging would be required to carry warning labels, be subject to federal prohibitions on free sampling, would be illegal to sell to minors, and would have to be registered with the FDA. In addition to federal regulations, states have already begun imposing many of the regulations listed above, limiting the sale and use of smokeless cigarettes.
Purchase of Smokeless Cigarettes by Minors
As mentioned above, federal regulations will mean that smokeless cigarettes will not be allowed to be purchased by minors, or those under the age of 18. In a September 2013 article published by the Huffington Post, it was made known that minors and kids in many places throughout the country can purchase smokeless cigarettes. In some states, like Utah, which have already begun regulating the devices in the same way as tobacco products, you must be 19 years of age to purchase a smokeless cigarette.
Smokeless Cigarettes Subject to the Tobacco Tax
In some states in the nation, smokeless cigarettes are currently subjected to the tobacco tax. Take the state of Minnesota, for example, which places a 95 percent tax on the wholesale cost of cigarettes of all kinds, including the smokeless kind. In June of 2014, a 75 percent tax on e-cigs was proposed in New York and New Jersey. If the federal government begins regulating smokeless cigarettes in the same manner as other tobacco products, e-cigs may be subject to federal tobacco taxes.
What Federal Regulations Mean for E-Smokers
For those who currently smoke or are interested in getting a smokeless cigarette, the federal regulations will have a big impact on you. No longer will e-cigs be acceptable indoors and in other smoke-free areas, minors under the age of 19 or 18 (depending upon the state) will not be able to purchase smokeless cigarettes, online e-cig advertisements will be banned, and smokeless cigarettes will be subject to a high tax. Essentially, e-smoking will be treated in the exact same manner as traditional smoking.