New House Bill Cracks Down On E-Cigarette Containers That Appeal To Minors

New House Bill Cracks Down On E-Cigarette Containers That Appeal To Minors
New House Bill Cracks Down On E-Cigarette Containers That Appeal To Minors

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) – In 2015, E-cigarettes, vapes, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems caused the U.S Food and Drug Administration to declare an epidemic of underage E-cigarette use.

Now, after years of controversy behind the effects E-cigarettes have on minors, the Texas House has enacted a new bill that will target the containers that some lawmakers believe might contribute to that use.

Kimberly Riggins with Mango Island CBD Smoke and Vape in Lufkin says in the five years she’s worked in the vape business, she’s seen many containers depicting designs that she believes are meant to appeal to minors, but she’s refused to sell those items in store.

“That is targeting for the minors, that’s making it seem really cool because you’re taking cartoon characters, things that they watch and the things that are in their life every day. You know that does get them more intrigued on it,” says Riggins.

According to the 2020 Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol use, 15.1 percent of middle and high school students reported using electronic vapor products in the past school year.

Riggins says HB 4758 could help keep vapes out of the hands of minors, and even parents who may purchase them for their child.

“I have known for some adults to come in and buy for minors and the minors would say ‘oh, I want this specific one, if they don’t have it, I don’t want it’, and I noticed it and I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t sell to you,’” says Riggins.

HB 4758 not only keeps E-cig containers from depicting cartoons, but also keeps them from using containers that imitate trademarks of other products, ones that have symbols or celebrity images, and those that resemble food products including juice or candy.

Riggins says she agrees with the bill, but doing away with designs that appeal to minors could affect some vape shops.

“That can hurt the business because that’s what draws a lot of people in is the designs. ‘Oh, I like that, oh hey it’s cool, hey I remember that person.’ If it’s just a plain Jane little vape nobody really wants to buy it,” says Riggins.

Retailers are not required to comply with house bill 4758 until January 1, 2024.

Violating the bill will be considered a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, fines of up to $2,000, or both.

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