The e-cigarette regulation age-restricts the sale of electronic cigarettes, e-hookah and other nicotine delivery devices and treats them like tobacco products in the retail environment. This regulation provides municipalities with local enforcement of the Attorney General’s regulation prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
E-cigarettes are widely available at retailers frequented by youth, are priced below $5, and come in a variety of sweet flavors. They are often displayed at the checkout counter or other highly visible locations right next to candy.
E-cigarettes are unregulated by the FDA, so the level of nicotine they contain varies greatly. They often contain over 10mg of nicotine, a lethal dose in young people. 1
Among Massachusetts high school students, ever use of e-cigarettes doubled from 5.0% in 2011 to 10.7% in 2013.2 Past 30-day use of e-cigarettes increased from 2.0% in 2011 to 3.7% in 2013. These are similar to national findings.3
1. Food and Drug Administration. 2011. Fact Sheet: Flavored Tobacco Products, www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/ProtectingKidsfromTobacco/FlavoredTobacco/UCM183214.pdf ; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2012.
2. Youth Tobacco Use in Massachusetts 2014. Survey Results from 1993 to 2013. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Public Health.