Sorry Kids, but Today's the Day You Need to Be 21 to Vape

Sorry Kids, but Today's the Day You Need to Be 21 to Vape
File photo by Vapes/Flickr

Today's the day adult teens will no longer be able to smoke, vape or chew tobacco in the Golden State.

If your cigarette is filled with cannabis, or if you're vaping a marijuana concentrate, you could be good. But getting your hands on rolling papers or vapes will be technically illegal.

Yes, officer, this is only weed. Welcome to California.

You'll have to be 21 or older to buy cigarettes, nicotine vaporizers and other tobacco products. However, the onus of the law is on retailers who are forbidden to sell such times to those who aren't of legal age.

There is no hard age for medical marijuana, since it's technically medicine, NORML state coordinator Dale Gieringer told us.

Vaporizers, blunt wrappers and rolling papers are included in the prohibition for those younger than 21. 

Those who sell or furnish to people under 21 "any tobacco, cigarette, or cigarette papers, or blunt wraps, or any other preparation of tobacco, or any other instrument or paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco, products prepared from tobacco, or any controlled substance, is subject to either a criminal action for a misdemeanor or to a civil action," the law states.

Though vaporizers are included in the law, it will be interesting to see if any smoke shops or manufacturers mount a legal challenge. There are definitely outlets that sell vapes as medical marijuana devices.

The 21-and-older rule is at the heart of a bill by Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina that was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"Starting tomorrow, the minimum age of sale for tobacco increases from 18 to 21 across the state of California," a spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health said. "This is the first time the tobacco age-of-sale law has changed in 144 years. And, for the first time, e-cigarettes are added to the existing definition of tobacco products."

You can fight for your country but you can't have a cigarette? Actually, there's an exception in the law for those serving in the U.S. armed forces.

You can go to an 18-and-older rave, take ecstasy (illegally) and die, but you can't puff on a nicotine vaporizer? Well, yeah.

"It's going to reduce the number of young adults addicted to nicotine," Hernandez told us last month. "It's going to save lives and it's going to reduce health care costs."


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