E-CIGARETTES IN CALIFORNIA
The State of California has generally determined that e-cigarettes are to be included within the definition of “tobacco products,” and subject to the same regulation(s) as tobacco. Multiple statutes apply in the State of California, defining an e-cigarette, including the Business & Professions Code, Revenue & Tax Code, as well as Health & Safety Code.
California Business & Professions Code describes a tobacco product as a product contained, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption, including an electronic device that delivers nicotine or other vaporized liquids to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette. . . . The Revenue and Tax Codes also defines a tobacco product as including products containing, made or derived from tobacco or nicotine, and shall also include electronic cigarettes. Finally, the Health & Safety Code again describes tobacco products as a product containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine, as well as “an electronic device that delivers nicotine or other vaporized liquids to the person inhaling from the device . . .” including an electronic cigarette.
What this means in the State of California is that the sale of electronic cigarettes to individuals under the age of 21 is prohibited. An exception exists for active military personnel over the age of 18. More importantly, the use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited wherever smoking is prohibited, including, but not limited to, enclosed places of employment, daycare facilities, foster and group homes, within 25 feet of playgrounds or 250 feet of a sports events, in public buildings or within 20 feet of a main exit, entrance or operable window of a public building, or in a state owned passenger vehicle. The use of electronic cigarettes is also prohibited in vehicles with minors, or on any public transportation system.
E-cigarettes are not illegal, however, like traditional tobacco products, e-cigarettes are prohibited from the many spaces described above, including all work places, restaurants, bars, and movie theaters. Similarly as with tobacco products, e-cigarettes are prohibited in county offices of education, school/district buildings, school/district property, as well as school vehicles.
The use of electronic cigarettes is a growing market in all states. Restrictions are starting to apply in many states, particularly here in California. In order to legally obtain, use, and consume the vaporized e-cigarette product, an individual will practically have to be in an open area, away from individuals who don’t want to experience the vaporized product. Essentially, the consumer must be aware of his or her surroundings in order to legally consume the e-cigarette product.