Alabama Senate approves vaping device bill

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, June 1, 2023

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The Alabama Senate unanimously approved SB316 on May 24. The bill, an amendment to Section 28-11-14, Code of Alabama 1975, aims to provide further prohibitions on the possession of an electronic nicotine delivery system by persons under age 21.

According to Drug Education Council Executive Director Virginia Guy, the bill, once passed by the House, will ban vaping devices from minors under 21.

““The Alabama Senate took decisive action yesterday to address the underage vaping crisis by approving Senate Bill 316, which bans minors from possessing vaping devices,” Guy said in a release on May 25. “I am so proud of these elected officials for highlighting this national epidemic and for placing Alabama front and center in tackling the issue.” 

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The bill was introduced to the Senate on May 11 by Senator Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) to amend current legislation making it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy, use, posses, or transport any vaping devices or materials, including e-liquids, CBD oil, nicotine salt, or any other substance inhaled using vaping devices. An amendment passed with the bill expanded prohibitions to include “other electronic battery-powered” devices.

“I am particularly appreciative of Senator Vivian Davis Figures’ leadership in introducing this bill and getting all her colleagues in the Senate to co-sponsor it,” Guy said. “As the bill moves to the House, and on behalf of Alabama’s minors, I urge the members to approve the bill and look forward to its becoming law.”

The Drug Education Council reports more than half of all high school students nationwide have vaped. Nearly half of those said they vape at least 20 days a month, with almost one third reporting they vape every day.

Figures told Drug Education Council members she aims to keep Alabama’s young people healthy by eliminating underaged access to vaping devices.

“Alabama has one of the highest incidences of vaping in the nation, which leads to higher healthcare costs, a loss of productivity, and a higher morbidity,” said Figures.

The bill is currently under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee, which heard discussion on Wednesday. At the time of publication, results of the discussion were not yet available.