Alabama Introduced New Bill to Ban Underage Vaping
We all know that vaping has become a significant issue among young people in recent years. With alarming numbers of middle school students and even children as young as seven or eight years old beginning to vape, it’s clear that we must address this problem head-on. The nicotine addiction risk for children and teens is considerably higher than for adults, and the fact that a single vape cartridge can contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes only highlights the urgency of this matter.
In response to this growing crisis, Alabama State Senator Vivian Figures introduced a bill on Thursday that would make it illegal for minors to possess vapes. Figures, who has represented the 33rd district in Mobile County since 1997, has seen first-hand the impact of underage vaping on her constituents.
The bill has received significant bipartisan support, with 100% of the state senators present co-sponsoring the legislation. This indicates a clear understanding of the severity of the issue and a united front in addressing it.
The Details of the Bill
The bill proposes an amendment to Section 28-11-14 of the Code of Alabama 1975, making it unlawful for individuals under the age of 21 to purchase, use, or transport any electronic battery-powered device capable of delivering:
- e-liquid substitute
- CBD oil
- THC oil
- herbal extract
- nicotine salt
The bill states that a violation occurs upon mere possession of any vaping device, regardless of its contents. This means that even if a minor isn’t actively using the device or it’s empty, they would still be in violation of the law.
Section 28-11-14 – Code of Alabama 1975 Fines for unlawful possession of contraband
(a) Any tobacco, tobacco product, alternative nicotine product, electronic nicotine delivery system, or false proof of identification found in the possession of an individual under the age of 21 years is contraband and subject to seizure by law enforcement. Any individual under the age of 21 years violating Section shall be issued a citation similar to a uniform nontraffic citation and shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than fifty dollars ($50) for each violation, and shall be assessed no other court costs or fees. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the disposition of any violation shall be within the jurisdiction of the district or municipal court and not the juvenile court. Violations shall not be considered criminal offenses and shall be administratively adjudicated by the district or municipal court.
Support from the Drug Education Council
Virginia Guy, the Executive Director of the Drug Education Council, praised Senator Figures for her leadership on this issue. She expressed hope that the underage vaping bill would become law, helping to address the most significant crisis they’re witnessing currently.
Senator Figures shared that nearly 20% of high school students in Alabama admit to vaping. The state has one of the highest incidences of vaping in the nation, resulting in increased healthcare costs, lost productivity, and higher morbidity rates.
The primary goal of this bill is to keep vaping devices out of the hands of minors and ensure that young people can make informed decisions about vaping when they reach an appropriate age. By taking action now, we can protect our youth and help them live healthier lives in the long run.
1. What is the purpose of the bill introduced by Alabama State Senator Vivian Figures?
The bill aims to make it illegal for minors to possess vapes in Alabama, protecting the health of young people by keeping vaping devices out of their hands.
2. How has the bill been received by other state senators?
The bill has received bipartisan support, with 100% of the state senators present co-sponsoring the legislation.
3. What substances are covered by the bill?
The bill covers e-liquids, e-liquid substitutes, tobacco, CBD oil, THC oil, herbal extracts, and nicotine salts.
4. How does the bill define a violation?
A violation occurs upon mere possession of any vaping device, regardless of its contents or whether it is in use.
5. How prevalent is underage vaping in Alabama?
Nearly 20% of high school students in Alabama admit to vaping, making it one of the states with the highest incidences of vaping in the nation.