Criminalization of E-Cigarette Marketing Targeting Minors in Texas

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Criminalization of E-Cigarette Marketing Targeting Minors in Texas
Starting January 1, 2024, the Texas State Treasury is warning retailers that advertising or selling e-cigarette products designed to attract minors will be a crime.

According to a report from focusdailynews, Glenn Hegar, the Texas State Comptroller, has issued a warning to retailers that starting from January 1, 2024, advertising, selling, or promoting e-cigarette products in Texas markets that are designed to attract minors will be considered a criminal offense.


Selling e-cigarettes to minors is illegal, as these products are deemed hazardous due to their common inclusion of nicotine, heavy metals, and carcinogens. Furthermore, they are intentionally designed to appeal to underage individuals.


Governor Hegg said, "Texas has taken action to address this deceptive marketing practice. I greatly appreciate the partnership with retailers statewide in assisting us to protect our most valuable resource: our children.


House Bill 4758 stipulates that an individual shall be liable for a Class B misdemeanor, carrying both civil and criminal penalties, if their marketing, advertising, sales, or promotion of e-cigarette products and their packaging meet any of the following criteria:


Depicting a cartoonish fictional character that imitates characters primarily targeting underage entertainment; imitating or mimicking the trademark or product image of items primarily marketed to minors; including symbols predominantly used to sell products to minors; featuring images of celebrities; incorporating images resembling food items such as candies or juices. Violation of these regulations may result in conviction of a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum prison sentence of 180 days, a maximum fine of $2000, or both. E-cigarette retailers may also face civil fines of up to $3000, and repeated violations could lead to license revocation or suspension.


More than 2.1 million high school and middle school students who participated in the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey have reported using e-cigarette products, making it the most popular tobacco product among teenage users for the tenth consecutive year.


The Ministry of Finance's tobacco enforcement program aims to prevent children from accessing cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products. This crucial public health endeavor necessitates constant vigilance and ongoing efforts from parents, business owners, government officials, and all relevant individuals in Texas. The Ministry of Finance and its collaborating agencies conduct inspections to ensure compliance with regulations on the sale, possession, and use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products.


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