Laying down the law on vaping

Vaping laws are constantly changing as the relatively new technology is addressed by legislators. Many times, vaping is regulated similarly to smoked tobacco or cannabis consumption respective of what is being vaped.

In California, legal vapers must be at least 21 years old.

Terese Voge, Sonoma County Department of Health Services health program manager, said that the county takes a multi-pronged approach to enforcement of underage vaping.

One of the areas focused on by the county to curb underage vaping is at the cash register for all tobacco products. This is due to the stated ease with which minors that do smoke or vape purchase their devices.

The county cites that nationwide 98.5% of tobacco purchases were made at a store, as opposed to buying them from a friend.

County law requires any individual who does not appear 27 years old or older to show a valid ID before they can purchase vape products. However, according to the Young Adult Tobacco Purchase Survey (YATPS), one in five retailers did not check for ID.

“Of the 164 tobacco retailers surveyed, 28 retailers, 17.1%, sold tobacco products to a young adult under the age of 21. Twelve of the stores were gas/convenience stores, eight were small, non-chain markets, four were liquor stores, two were large markets, one was a large grocery store chain and one was a donut shop,” according to the YATPS report.

New Culture

The county is trying to create a culture where vaping does not have the sleek appeal that some advertisements suggest, similar to how the glamour of tobacco has been largely eliminated from today’s culture.

“We want to appeal to people’s own senses,” Voge said.

Vape products lack the negative qualities of traditional smoking, such as smell, harshness and coughing, though those are not eliminated. Still, it makes for a new challenge when trying to show the risks of vaping to people who tend to favor more risk-prone behavior.

But, even if someone decides to vape, the county still provides services.

The county works with schools and students not only to prevent use, but to help with addiction when a student decides to quit.

Read more at http://www.sonomawest.com

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