Vaping Laws in Delaware – Is it Legal to Vape in Delaware?
Vaping has become popular in Delaware, as in many other states. However, Delaware does have certain laws regulating the use of e-cigarettes and vape devices. Before you start vaping in Delaware, it’s important to understand the state’s regulations on minimum age, where you can vape, and penalties for violations. Delaware has also passed laws specifically taxing vape products. Here we explore Delaware’s vaping laws in detail so you can enjoy e-cigarettes legally and responsibly.
Is Vaping Legal in Delaware?
Yes, vaping and the use of e-cigarettes is legal for adults over 21 in Delaware. Those under 21 are prohibited from purchasing or possessing any vape devices or e-liquids. Delaware banned the sale of all flavored vape products in 2020 but allows unflavored vape juice and devices. The state does prohibit vaping in many public places through the Delaware Clean Indoor Air Act.
Delaware’s Law on Vape Ban and Tax
In 2020, Delaware made two major changes to vaping laws:
- Passed SB4 to ban the sale of all flavored vape products, including single-use disposable vapes. Only unflavored vape juice and devices can now be sold.
- Passed HB5 to establish a $0.05 per milliliter tax on e-cigarette and vape products. This law imposed the vape tax on both flavored and unflavored e-liquids and disposable vapes.
Minimum Age Requirement
In Delaware, you must be at least 21 years old to purchase or possess any e-cigarette, vape product or e-liquid. This includes disposable vapes, vape pods or pens, mods, tanks, coils and all flavored and unflavored e-juice options. Those under 18 caught vaping face legal consequences including confiscation of devices and mandated community service or cessation programs. Retailers are banned from selling any vape product to those under 21.
Where is Vaping Prohibited in Delaware?
According to Delaware’s Clean Indoor Air Act, vaping is banned in all enclosed public places including:
- Restaurants, bars and casinos
- Public and private workplaces
- Malls and retail stores
- Movie theaters
- Public transit
- Healthcare facilities
- Childcare and adult day care centers
- Hotels and motels
- Beaches, boardwalks, parks and playgrounds
Some cities and counties in Delaware have additional restrictions on vaping in public places like sidewalks, parking lots and outdoor dining patios. Vapers must follow all posted signage regarding vape-free zones.
Penalties for Vaping Violations
Those caught violating Delaware’s vaping laws and regulations face legal penalties including:
- Underage vapers: Confiscation of devices, required community service or participation in a cessation program. Repeat offenses can lead to fines.
- Retailers selling to underage customers: Fines of $1,000-$5,000 and possible license suspension.
- Vaping in prohibited areas: First offense of $25, second offense $50 and third offense $200. Workplaces that allow vaping in violation of the law face fines of $100-$500.
- Non-compliance with vape tax: The Delaware Department of Revenue will pursue any dealer or distributor evading the e-cigarette tax. Penalties may include interest charges, liens and even criminal prosecution for repeat or willful offenses.
CBD Vaping in Delaware
Vaping CBD oil is legal in Delaware but limited to those over 21 and under certain restrictions:
- CBD vape products must contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal under Delaware and federal law.
- CBD vape cartridges, pods and e-juices are subject to Delaware’s vape tax of $0.05 per milliliter.
- Disposable CBD vape pens are allowed but also subject to the vape tax based on total volume of CBD e-liquid.
Flavored CBD vape products were banned under SB4, so only unflavored options are permitted for sale.
- The same restrictions on vaping areas apply to CBD vape devices according to the Clean Indoor Air Act.
CBD vape pens, e-juices and disposables can be purchased at many smoke shops, vape stores and dispensaries across Delaware. Legal CBD products must have third-party lab tests showing less than 0.3% THC content. Those caught with illicit CBD vape cartridges containing high THC may face marijuana possession charges.
Delaware Vape Tax
In 2021, Delaware established an e-cigarette and vapor tax of $0.05 per milliliter of liquid or other consumable. This tax applies to:
- Pre-filled vape cartridges, pods and disposable vape pens containing e-liquid.
- Bottles of e-juice or vape liquid for refillable devices.
- CBD vape products like cartridges, pods, pens and e-juice subject to the same $0.05 per mL rate.
- The tax is paid by distributors who pass the cost on to retailers and consumers through higher product prices.
- Revenue from the vape tax will fund various health programs and tobacco prevention initiatives in Delaware.
The Delaware vape tax adds a significant cost to vaping, as a single 30mL bottle of e-juice would incur $1.50 of tax and a 4-pack of 5% disposable vapes would include $6 of tax, for example. Some vapers and industry advocates argue this high tax may drive more consumers to purchase vape products from neighboring states or illegal sources. However, the tax was designed primarily to offset some costs of underage vaping and health impacts.
Recent Changes and News
Delaware continues to adjust laws and regulations on vaping based on health concerns and rates of underage use:
- Flavored vape ban (2020): Senate Bill 4 banned all flavored vape products to curb appeal to youth. Only unflavored vape juice and devices are now permitted for sale.
- 100% Tobacco-free Schools (2019): Delaware prohibited vaping and all tobacco use in schools, school vehicles and at school-sponsored events to promote student health.
- Raising the age of sale (2019): In compliance with federal law, Delaware increased the minimum age to purchase any tobacco or vape product to 21 years old. Retailers must verify age for all customers to avoid penalties.
- E-cigarette Tax (2021): House Bill 5 established a $0.05 per milliliter tax on all vape products from closed e-cigarette devices and e-liquids to disposables, cartridges and pods. The tax took effect in April 2021 with revenue funding healthcare programs.
Delaware aims to balance regulation protecting public health with the rights of adults to use e-cigarette products legally. Vapers and shops should follow all current laws carefully to avoid legal trouble and make their voices heard regarding future legislation.
Vaping is legal for adults over 21 in Delaware, but subject to certain restrictions under laws like the Clean Indoor Air Act and tax requirements. Residents should understand the state’s regulations on minimum age, taxation of vape products, where vaping is prohibited and consequences for violations before choosing to vape. While vaping may be a less harmful alternative for some smokers, Delaware has passed aggressive laws curbing underage use and use in public spaces. With change happening quickly, always check for updates to Delaware’s vaping laws and regulations.
- Is it legal to buy vapes online in Delaware?
Yes, Delaware residents over 21 can purchase vape products from out-of-state retailers online. However, some local governments have banned online sales of flavored vape products, so check with your city or county. All vape shipments are subject to Delaware’s e-cigarette tax.
- Can I vape marijuana in Delaware?
No, marijuana remains illegal for recreational use in Delaware. Only medical marijuana is permitted, and the state does not allow for vaping THC or cannabis oils. CBD vape products are allowed but must contain less than 0.3% THC.
- What are the penalties for underage vaping in Delaware?
Minors caught vaping will face consequences including device confiscation and mandated participation in community service or a cessation program. Their parents may also face civil penalties. Repeat offenses can lead to fines for minors and parents.
- Where does Delaware’s vape tax money go?
Revenue from Delaware’s $0.05 per milliliter e-cigarette tax is directed to the state’s general fund to support various healthcare programs and tobacco prevention initiatives, especially those targeting underage users.
- Will Delaware further restrict vaping in the future?
Delaware lawmakers continue discussions around additional vaping regulations to curb underage use and health impacts. Future laws may include:
- Flavor ban expansions to all pre-filled pods, cartridges and disposable vapes.
- Higher taxes on all tobacco and e-cigarette products.
- Further limitation on public vaping including beaches, parks and events.
- Increased fines and consequences for those selling to or providing vape products to minors.
Vapers in Delaware should monitor updated regulations to ensure compliance and contact local officials with any concerns over proposed legislation. The laws are aimed at protecting public health and youth but risk limiting choices and driving consumers to unregulated sources.
Delaware has a mixed view on vaping, aiming to support adult choice while preventing underage use and health issues. Residents over 21 who choose to vape should do so carefully and legally under the state’s regulations. While relatively permissive, Delaware’s stance may change quickly if youth rates do not decline or health impacts intensify. By following current laws and making their voices heard, vapers in Delaware can work to build an atmosphere of legal and regulated responsible vaping.