We get a lot of questions from teens and their parents regarding the use of nicotine products and vaping and there appears to be a lot of misinformation surrounding this topic.
It is a crime for a person who is under the age of 18 to purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess for personal use any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products. There is an exception to this – it is legal for a person under the age of 18 to possess these items if they were provided to the person by their parent or guardian and the possession is in that parent’s home while the parent is present.
“Vapor products” only includes devices or cartridges that contain nicotine. Other devices or cartridges that do not contain nicotine (or THC) are legal to possess or use regardless of the person’s age.
“Tobacco-related objects” means any papers, wrappers, or other products, devices, or substances, including cigar wraps, which are used for the purpose of making cigarettes or tobacco products in any form whatsoever. “Cigar wraps” means individual cigar wrappers, known as wraps, blunt wraps, or roll your own cigar wraps, that consist in whole or in part of reconstituted tobacco leaf or flavored tobacco leaf.
For persons 18 or older, it is also a crime to purchase these products for a minor unless the purchase is for that person’s minor child. So if you have a friend who is a minor, it would be a crime to purchase nicotine products or any of the other listed products on their behalf.
Additionally, it is a crime for a minor to misrepresent their age or use a fake ID in order to purchase any of these products.
The punishment for a person under the age of 18 who possesses or misrepresents their age in order to purchase these products is relatively minor – up to 20 hours community service or attending a lecture or discussion on the health hazards of smoking or tobacco use (so long as the lecture is offered at no charge) or both.