Garcia bill to Ban sale of E-Cigs to Children, Signed Into Law

For immediate release:

Measure will make it illegal for vendors to sell any type of vaping devices to minors

(Sacramento) – Joining lawmakers in standing tough against new smoking technologies, meant to entice children, Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill 216, authored by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens).

AB 216 would ban stores, smoke shops and vape shops from selling any vaping or electronic cigarette device to minors under18 years of age.

“The use of vaping by minors is reaching epidemic proportion, “ Garcia said  “The Governor’s action makes it very clear that California will not stand by and let new smoking technologies entice children and produce a whole new generation of young smokers.”

Garcia explained that her legislation was the only bill to emerge from the legislature to deal with the rapid rise in the use of vaping technologies by children. “Many of the other bills dealt with whether vaps should be considered tobacco products, even though non-tobacco substances are also being used in the devices. Those bills still have merit and they will help use delve deeper into the subject of controlling tobacco, next year,” Garcia said.  “My goal is to stop children now from ingesting any harmful substance, get ahead of the technology and not allow vaping to be a gateway that hooks more children on tobacco.” She concluded

Studies suggest that adolescents who use e‐cigarettes are more likely to progress from experimenting with cigarettes, to becoming established smokers. In fact, from 2011 to 2014, substantial increases have been observed in current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students, resulting in estimated 2.4 million young people today using e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and vape pens target a younger audience, using sweet flavored compounds that carry the names of kid’s treats, such as gummy bears and fruit loops. Although they don't have nicotine, these compounds have been shown to contain other harmful chemicals, masked by the candy flavored vapor.

Current law only prevents minors from purchasing vaping devices with pre-filled nicotine cartridges. Due to this loop hole in current law, unscrupulous vendors are preying on our youth by selling them e-cigarette /vaping devices with non-nicotine cartridges. But devices can easily be filled with nicotine and can also be used for smoking other substances such as cannabis or other herbal substances that are harmful to children.