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New federal, county vape ordinances now in effect

As of Jan. 1, the new county vape ordinance is now in effect. It is joined by a new federal law that has increased the legal age to purchase tobacco products and vaping products that contain nicotine to 21.

According to the county ordinance, it is now illegal to vape “within 300 feet of any church building, or on any property owned or leased to a church, other than in designated areas, if any,” or “within 600 feet of any school building, educational building, school grounds, or college campus, or on any property owned or leased to a public or private school or school board for elementary or secondary education, other than in designated areas, if any.”

The new law also focuses heavily on the display and business side of vaping. Any store selling vape products must now “maintain its entire inventory of alternative nicotine product and/or vapor product and any additional line of devices in a screened area,” meaning it will now be illegal “for a person to allow any item of alternative nicotine product or vapor product to be in view of the public, except during actual sales transactions of such items.”

The acceptable ingredients in vape cartridges is also being regulated under the new law. The ordinance prohibits the sale of any “harmful additive other than pharmaceutical grade vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, food-grade flavoring, and water.”

The ordinance also restricts “any mixing or preparing vape juice” at a vape shop “be done strictly in compliance with FDA regulations and applicable permits.”

The federal law, which was added in as a rider to the federal year-end legislative package, trumps the county ordinance in terms of legal age for purchasing tobacco and vape products, which was raised to 19 by the county. You must now be 21 to purchase these products.

The federal law also bans the sale of flavored vape and tobacco products, with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavored products.