As a Texas based company, it's our legal and moral obligation to follow any laws set forth by the State of Texas. As many of you may know, Texas recently passed legislation for vapor products with an effective date of October 1, 2015. The laws are primarily focused at limiting access to vapor products to anyone under the age of 18. There are several other topics included in the provisions, however, age restrictions seem to be the primary focus.
With your support, we can keep minors away from e-cigarettes and tobacco to build a better future for Texans of all ages.Glenn Hegar - Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Texas Vapor Product(s) Legislation Documents
- SB 97 makes it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.
Texas E-Cigarette Laws and it's Affect On Retailers and Consumers
The comptroller's office is beginning to send out informational packets to prepare businesses for the new laws that become effective October 1, 2015. Included in the informational packet are customer facing decals, posters, brochures, and guidance for shop owners and employees to better understand and comply with the laws. The documents included in the packet also outline why the shop must comply with the laws and the penalties associated with not doing so. Directly from the informational packet from the Comptroller of Public Accounts, we would like to note a few of the notable points regarding vapor products being sold in retail stores. The following information is not comprehensive, for more information or to view the entire document, please visit the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts digital PDF vapor products document.
Retailers and Employees
Texas law sets out stringent rules for buying and selling cigarettes, e-cigarettes and/or tobacco products at the retail level. Retail employees are subject to criminal prosecution for a Class C misdemeanor if with criminal negligence they sell cigarettes, e-cigarettes and/or tobacco products to a minor. Additionally, retailers can be fined up to $1,000 or have their cigarette or tobacco products permits suspended. Permits can be revoked if retailers commit multiple offenses. Violation of any of the following laws is a Class C misdemeanor.
- Retailers and their employees cannot sell or give cigarettes, e-cigarettes or tobacco products or coupons for cigarettes, e-cigarettes or tobacco products to anyone under 18.
- Free samples of cigarettes, e-cigarettes or tobacco products cannot be given to anyone under the age of 18.
- In any business open to minors, cigarette, e-cigarette or tobacco vending machines cannot be placed in a manner that allows direct customer access.
Minors and Parents
- Minors cannot buy, use or possess cigarettes, e-cigarettes or tobacco products. The only exceptions are that a minor may possess cigarettes, e-cigarettes or tobacco in the presence of an adult parent, guardian or spouse, or in the presence of an employer if possession of the product is required in the performance of his or her duties as an employee.
- Minors who violate the cigarette, e-cigarette and the tobacco law can be fined up to $250 and required to attend a cigarette, e-cigarette and tobacco awareness program or participate in a cigarette, e-cigarette or tobacco-related community service. Parents of a minor convicted of a violation may be required to attend the cigarette, e-cigarette and tobacco awareness program with their child.
- A minor’s drivers license can be suspended or denied if the minor is convicted of a violation of the cigarette, e-cigarette or tobacco law and does not attend a cigarette, e-cigarette or tobacco awareness program or perform a cigarette, e-cigarette or tobacco-related community service.
The full document can be found by visiting the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts digital PDF vapor products document.