Texas and Vaping: What is the Law?
Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, was at one time seen as a safe and trendy alternative to smoking. The use and the popularity of JUUL products and other vaping devices have now reached precariously epidemic levels in Texas and throughout the country, particularly among teenage and young adult demographics.
In recent months, Juul and its partner company Altria have encountered an onslaught of lawsuits which accuse the company of illegally marketing their products to underage consumers as well as making false claims about related health and safety benefits. At the end of October 2019, nearly 1,900 cases of injury and 37 deaths had been associated with the use of e-cigarette products, according to the CDC. This includes 1 death in the state of Texas. As expected, this has raised pressing concerns about the deadly addictive nature and alarming design of vaping products.
As federal and Texas state officials sound the alarm, you must be fully informed of the dangers and issues vaping presents. The result of ongoing lawsuits will have a significant impact on the laws and legislation concerning vape products and JUUL moving forward.
The majority of ongoing lawsuits concern victims who are ill, seeking compensation or new regulation to protect against consuming highly addictive vape products which are causing harmful lung illnesses and disease. The subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy recently discovered, through public information, that JUUL deployed sophisticated programs to target younger demographics of innocent consumers, in addition to recruiting online ‘influencers’ to market to teens. The primary issue at hand is that JUUL falsely and deceptively marketed their products to underage consumers and reported that vaping was a safe and healthy alternative to smoking.
New laws and guidelines are appearing all over the map to combat this dangerous epidemic on a state and federal level. As of June 2019, the definition of an e-cigarette in Texas is “a device that simulates smoking by using a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit to deliver nicotine or other substances to the individual inhaling from the device” Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 161.081(1-a) (2019). On September 1, 2019, Texas raised the legal age for the sale/distribution/possession of e-cigarettes to 21, up from 18. The use of e-cigarettes is strictly prohibited in schools, elevators, enclosed theaters, libraries, museums, hospitals, certain buses, planes, and trains.
As a responsible and concerned citizen, take the time to discuss the dangers of JUUL and other vaping devices with your family and friends. If you believe you have been injured by the use of a vaping product, or if you know someone who has, contact the dedicated legal team at Reynolds & Reynolds in Frisco, TX to discuss your case today.