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Electronic cigarettes - (E-Cigarettes)

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Published on December 28, 2016. Last modified on November 25, 2019

ecigElectronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that deliver nicotine to the user through vaporization. Most e-cigarettes are created to look like traditional cigarettes, but some are also made to look like pens and other similar devices.

Because e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, consumers currently do not know:

  • the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended,
  • how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or
  • whether there are any benefits associated with using these products.
Vaping Associated Pulmonary Injury (VAPI) -  October 2019

Additionally, it is not known whether e-cigarettes may lead users to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.

The Health Risk

Electronic cigarettes are a concern because their use may lead to traditional tobacco use. Another concern is the liquid nicotine (also known as e-juice) contained in these cigarettes. E-juice comes in a variety of flavors, including candy and fruity flavors which often appeals to children. E-juice is often sold in separate bottles so users can refill the tanks or cartridges in their e-cigarettes. These bottles are similar to those used for eyedrops or breath freshener and aren't required by Federal Law to be childproof. Because of their appealing flavors and containers, e-juice often gets mistaken for eyedrops, breath freshener, or candy by children and adults. This has led to a rise in calls regarding nicotine poisoning among adults and children, with nicotine poisoning of children aged five and under making up 60% of those calls.

You can access the State Health Officer's Report on E-Cigarettes for more information.


New Information:

AB 216: Product Sales to Minors - Vapor Products

Summary: "Would prohibit the sale of any device intended to deliver a non-nicotine product in a vapor state, to be directly inhaled by the user, to a person under 18 years of age, or to a person under 21 years of age if SB 151 of the 2015-16 Regular Session is enacted and takes effect. The bill would exempt from its prohibition the sale of a drug or medical device that has been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Because this bill would create a new crime or infraction, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws."

Status: Passed 10/11/2015

SBX2 5: Electronic Cigarettes

Summary: "Would define the term "smoking" for purposes of the STAKE Act. The bill would also change the STAKE Act's definition of "tobacco products" to include electronic devices, such as electronic cigarettes, that deliver nicotine or other vaporized liquids, and make furnishing the tobacco product to a minor a misdemeanor. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws."

Status: Passed 5/4/2016


Additional information on e-cigarettes:

Electronic Cigarettes

E-Cigarette Ads and Youth

E-Cigarette use among US middle and high school students

US Food and Drug Administration

Public Health Grand Rounds presentation on E-Cigarettes


Ordinances regarding E-Cigarettes in Monterey County

Gonzales, CA: Chapter 5.64 - Electronic Smoking Devices

Monterey, CA: Chapter 22, Section 22-29 - Regulation of smoking in public places

Seaside, CA: Title 8, Chapter 8.39 - Tobacco or Electronic Cigarette Retailers , Electronic Cigarettes, Vapor Lounges, and Drug Paraphernalia


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