A new rule by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that bans the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18 will go into effect Aug. 8. In most cities and states, however, selling e-cigs to anyone under 18 is already prohibited. In some cases, restrictions apply to those under 19 or 21. On May 4, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that prohibits the sale, and purchase, of tobacco products and electronic devices that deliver nicotine to anyone under 21. The law makes California the second state, after Hawaii, to change its smoking age to 21.

On May 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final rules to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Many of the rules will go into effect on August 8, 2015. Some will have a longer phase-in timeline. 

The benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh their potential harms the British Royal College of Physicians concluded after a comprehensive review of the current scientific research on e-cigarettes. The college's April 28 report, reported in Britain by the BBC and in the U.S. by the New York Times, concludes e-cigarettes are "much safer" than smoking conventional cigarettes and can be an important aid to quit smoking.

California would follow Hawaii to become the second state to change its smoking age to 21 if a bill passed by lawmakers earlier this month is signed by the governor. The California bill would prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 as well as the purchase of tobacco products by anyone under that age. The age limit also would apply to electronic devices that deliver nicotine or other vaporized liquids. On June 19, 2015, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a law that prohibited the sale, purchase, possession or consumption of cigarettes, other tobacco products and electronic smoking devices--also known as e-cigarettes--to anyone under age 21. The law went into effect Jan. 1.

New Jersey Gov. Christie declined to sign a bill to raise the legal age for purchase of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes to 21 years. Christie’s pocket veto came on Jan. 19, 2016, the last day for executive action on bills adopted during the 2015 legislative session. Despite Christie's action, other states are considering similar bills to prohibit the purchase of traditional tobacco and e-cigarettes by youth under the age of 21. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has until Jan. 19 to decide whether to sign a bill that would prohibit retail establishments from selling traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes to anyone 20 years old or younger, according to the NY Daily News. In 2006, New Jersey raised the legal smoking age from 18 to 19.

The use of electronic cigarettes—or “vaping”—has exploded in recent years among both youth and adults. In the absence of clear federal regulations, state policymakers have struggled with how best to approach the taxation and regulation of the devices. Attendees heard from state leaders, experts, law enforcement and federal representatives who will discuss how states are currently taxing e-cigarettes and restricting their sales to minors. The presenters also described what the future may hold for regulating consumption and marketing and manufacturing devices.

The Act prohibits the sale of electronic smoking devices and alternative nicotine products to minors, and requires child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers. The Act also requires that all tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices and alternative nicotine products, are sold with the assistance of a clerk, meaning that these products can no longer be sold in self-service displays.

This act amends existing laws in Arkansas relating to the Arkansas Tobacco Products Tax Act of 1977, which regulates tobacco products, to include vapor products, alternative nicotine products, and e-liquid products.

According to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, current e-cigarette use (defined as use on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) among high school students jumped from 4.5 percent (660,000) in 2013 to 13.4 percent (2 million) in 2014. Among middle schoolers, use tripled from 2013-201: from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014. Currently, at least 48 states ban the sale of e-cigarettes or alternative tobacco products to minors.