04 Feb Underage Vaping Laws in California
One of the latest trends going around is vaping. For those who haven’t heard of the term, vaping is the practice of inhaling water vapor into the lungs. This is often done through the use of an electronic cigarette (e-cig). The e-cig is has a cartridge that is filled with a liquid of the user’s choice. The e-cig heats the liquid, vaporizing it so that the user can inhale it.
E-cigs are often advertised as the healthy alternative to smoking, since they do not involve the user inhaling smoke, which is very bad for the lungs. However, some studies have shown that inhaling water vapor can still be very harmful to the lungs, plus there is still the problem of nicotine.
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical. While e-cigs allow a person to control how much nicotine is in their system, it can still lead to addictions. This is why e-cigs face the same restrictions as regular cigarettes. These laws are put in place in an effort to keep people, especially minors, safe.
Arguably the most important law surrounding e-cigs is that a person must be 21 or older to purchase and use an e-cig or vaporizer. The only exception to this law is that active military members can purchase and use e-cigs at the age of 18. It is also illegal for an adult to provide a minor with any e-cig products. So, if any minor is spotted using an e-cig and is not in the military, they are breaking the law.
As far as the state of California is concerned, e-cigs are the same as regular cigarettes and other tobacco products. This means that they face the same restrictions as cigarettes.
Due to this classification, e-cigs cannot be used in designated smoke-free areas. This includes:
- Public spaces
The law also allows local city governments to add additional restricted areas to the list.
Who Gets Into Trouble for Underage Vaping
If a child is caught with an e-cigarette in their possession, then they are not likely to face any legal action. This is due to the fact that California law criminalizes the act of giving a minor an e-cig, or any tobacco product for that matter, not the act of possessing the product.
This means that the person who would get into trouble, would be the adult that gave the minor the e-cigarette in the first place. If a business sold the product to the minor, than it can be fined and lose its license to sell tobacco products. If a person gave the minor the e-cigarette, even if they are a parent, they could face charges under California Penal Code (PC) 272, which is the states “Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor” law.
Minors can face legal trouble for using a vaporizer or e-cig if they break another smoking laws, such as using an e-cig in a no smoking zone. If a minor breaks a law like that, then they can face legal trouble.
How to Report Underage Vaping
When a person suspects that a minor is vaping, they should try to talk to the child, if they have the right to do so. If not they should report it to the minor’s parent or guardian. Hopefully the parent or guardian will be able to solve the problem from there.