Vaping Laws in the United States: A Comprehensive Update as of March 31, 2023
Vaping regulations in the United States have undergone significant changes as of March 31, 2023. This update explores the latest developments in vaping laws, encompassing restrictions on sales to underage persons, retail licensure, smoke-free indoor air laws, and e-cigarette taxation across the country. These regulations reflect ongoing efforts to address public health concerns related to vaping and to create a more controlled and transparent vaping industry.
Restrictions on Sales to Underage Persons
One of the most critical aspects of vaping regulation is the prohibition of sales to underage individuals. As of March 31, 2023, every state, including the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has enacted legislation explicitly prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. This unified approach underscores the commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of young people across the nation.
Notably, American Samoa and the Marshall Islands have yet to implement legislation addressing the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The absence of such laws in these jurisdictions highlights the need for consistent and comprehensive regulation on a national level.
Retail Licensure on E-Cigarettes
To ensure responsible sales and distribution of e-cigarettes, many states have introduced retail licensure requirements. As of March 31, 2023, a total of 34 states, along with the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have adopted legislation mandating that retailers obtain licenses to sell e-cigarettes over-the-counter. This move aims to enhance oversight and accountability within the vaping industry, promoting lawful practices and product quality.
Smokefree Indoor Air Laws, Including E-Cigarettes
The regulation of vaping extends beyond sales and licensing to encompass smokefree indoor air laws. These laws have gained prominence due to concerns about secondhand exposure to e-cigarette aerosols. As of March 31, 2023, 17 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have enacted comprehensive smokefree indoor air laws that explicitly include e-cigarettes. These laws prohibit both smoking and the use of e-cigarettes in indoor areas of private worksites, restaurants, and bars.
It's worth noting that Alaska introduced legislation on October 1, 2018, that restricts smoking and e-cigarette use in indoor areas of private worksites, restaurants, and bars. However, this legislation includes an option for municipalities to exempt themselves from these provisions through a voter referendum. Consequently, Alaska's policy may not be considered comprehensive in its approach to regulating e-cigarettes.
Taxation of e-cigarettes has emerged as another critical aspect of vaping regulation. As of March 31, 2023, a total of 30 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have passed legislation requiring taxation on e-cigarettes. The diversity of taxation approaches is notable, reflecting the evolving landscape of e-cigarette products and their consumption.
Per Milliliter Tax: Twelve states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, have implemented taxation based on the volume of e-cigarette liquid or consumable material, applying a tax per milliliter.
Percentage of Cost Tax: Fifteen states, such as California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming, in addition to the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, impose taxes on e-cigarettes as a percentage of a specified cost.
Hybrid Taxation: Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Mexico have adopted a hybrid approach to taxation. They tax closed e-cigarette systems (prefilled cartridges) based on the volume of liquid per milliliter and open e-cigarette systems (refillable cartridges) as a percentage of a specified cost.
Device and Cartridge Tax: Puerto Rico utilizes a distinct taxation model. It taxes disposable e-cigarette devices themselves and the nicotine cartridge per milliliter of consumable liquid.
As of March 31, 2023, vaping regulation in the United States has evolved significantly to address concerns related to underage access, retail practices, indoor air quality, and taxation. The unanimous prohibition of e-cigarette sales to minors across all states reflects a collective commitment to protect young individuals from the potential risks associated with vaping.
The implementation of retail licensure requirements enhances oversight within the industry, promoting responsible sales and product quality. Smokefree indoor air laws, inclusive of e-cigarettes, contribute to creating healthier indoor environments, addressing concerns about secondhand exposure.
E-cigarette taxation showcases a diverse range of approaches, reflecting the evolving nature of the industry. States and jurisdictions have adopted various taxation models to ensure that e-cigarette products contribute their fair share to public revenues.
This comprehensive update on vaping regulations underscores the nation's ongoing efforts to strike a balance between consumer choice, public health, and industry accountability. As vaping laws continue to evolve, it is essential to stay informed about the latest developments and their implications for individuals and businesses across the United States.