Though scientists continue to research the pros and cons of substituting electronic cigarettes for tobacco cigarettes, many states and even the federal government are moving forward with regulations related to the use of an e-cig. In Boston, MA, for example, the nicotine-containing liquids and gels used in e-cigarettes must be sold in child-resistant packages.
How They Work
Electronic cigarettes are typically cigarette-like in appearance, but they contain a battery. They also contain a cartridge where users can place gels or liquids. Some of these gels contain nicotine. Others do not. The e-cigs also include an atomizer which heats the liquid or gel to a boiling point. From there, users can inhale the vapor. Hence the nickname of e-cigarette use, “vaping.”
In Massachusetts, lawmakers have passed laws to protect minors, including the above mentioned child-resistant packaging requirements. Another minor protection regulation is the prohibition of selling electronic cigarettes to minors. Other states have taken minor protections further.
For example, in Kansas not only can stores not sell electronic cigarettes to minors, but minors can be in trouble for possession of an e-cig. In Texas, electronic cigarettes can only be used in restricted areas in schools, enclosed theaters, elevators, libraries, museums, hospitals, planes and trains. The use of vapor products inside Texas Department of Justice Facilities is also prohibited, though inmates can use them in designated outdoor areas.
Most states have adopted regulations related to electronic cigarettes, since the product became popular in the U.S. in about 2003. However, states are only recently beginning to place special state excise or special taxes on the product. Four states, including North Carolina, Louisiana, Kansas, and Minnesota have adopted vapor excise taxes as of 2016, but more than 20 states considered potential special taxes to be collected at the point of purchase by retailers. For now, many states are still debating whether and how to add taxes to popular electronic cigarettes.
One who uses an e-cig in Boston, MA, can enjoy it knowing the state is regulating to protect minors, but for now, not adding additional taxes.
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