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E-cigarettes have been around for decades, but the devices saw a rise in popularity among teenage clientele around 2015. 

Although you must be 21 or older to purchase E-cigarettes, minors continue to use them. This prompted Texas legislators to pass a new law in 2023 that regulates the advertisement of E-cigarettes to this age demographic in hopes that it will reduce the appeal and accessibility of these products to minors

In this article, we will discuss the Texas law that prohibits marketing E-cigarettes to minors, the punishment for violating the offense, and the intent behind the law. 

Texas Law Against Marketing E-Cigarettes to Minors

The Law Prohibiting Marketing E-Cigarettes To Minors In Texas

In 2023, Texas passed House Bill 4758, which makes it a Class B misdemeanor for businesses and individuals to market, advertise, or sell e-cigarette products to minors.

The new law – known as the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act – includes selling e-cigarette products with packaging that appeals to minors, such as photos of food, celebrities, or cartoon characters. 

Prohibited e-cigarette products is codified under Section 161.0876 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which states that a person committees this offense if he or she markets, advertises, sells ,or causes to be sold an e-cigarettte product if the product’s container:

  1. depicts a cartoon-like fictional character that mimics a character primarily aimed at entertaining minors;
  2. imitates or mimics trademarks or trade dress of products that are or have been primarily marketed to minors;
  3. includes a symbol that is primarily used to market products to minors;
  4. includes an image of a celebrity; or
  5. includes an image that resembles a food product, including candy or juice.

Punishment for Prohibited E-Cig Products

Punishment for Prohibited E-Cigarette Products

Marketing, advertising or selling a prohibited e-cigarettes product is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of as much as $2000, or both. 

In order to ensure that retailers are not engaging in selling e-cigarettes to minors, Texas officials sometimes conduct compliance checks. A compliance check involves undercover operations where a minor will try to buy nicotine products to test whether sellers are following the law. 

Intent Behind E-Cig Marketing Law

Intent Behind the Passing of the E-Cigarette Marketing Law

There is no doubt that E-cigarettes are dangerous, containing nicotine, heavy metals, and cancer-causing materials. Lawmakers pushed for this law because they believe E-cigarettes are intentionally designed to attract minors. They are particularly concerned that young people are vulnerable to these advertisements, which can result in early dependence on these addictive products. The aim is to reduce the use of E-cigarettes among minors and safeguard their long-term health.

Nicotine Use Can Contribute to Poor Academics

Subsequent Consequences Of Marketing E-Cigarettes To Minors

Marketing and selling E-cigarettes to minors can encompass far more consequences than legal action taken against the seller. Some of these subsequent consequences can include: 

  • Regulatory Responses: Marketing E-cigarettes to minors can elicit stricter regulation on the sales of E-cigarettes as a whole. Specifically, the government may choose to ban the production of flavored products, limit channels of advertising, and control the locations of sales in an effort to deter minors from buying/using these products. 
  • Lasting Public Health Impact: Encouraging the use of nicotine products among minors can cause lasting damage to public health. This is because the full scope of health implications as a result of modern E-cigarettes remain unknown. Likely, the long-term use of these products will result in increased healthcare costs related to treating nicotine-related health illnesses. 
  • Negative Impact On Academic Performance: Nicotine use can impact cognitive function in minors, thus resulting in poor academic performance. Specifically, regular nicotine use can decrease attention span, impair learning, and cause memory issues. These negative cognitive effects can result in low academic performance. 
  • Gateway To Smoking: Promoting nicotine use among minors can desensitize minors to the negative impacts of nicotine use, ultimately normalizing the use of this product and potentially resulting in an increase in nicotine use. Additionally, this can give rise to the social acceptance of smoking, which can increase this action among this age demographic as well. 

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What To Do If You’re Accused Of Marketing E-Cigarettes To Minors in North Texas

If you have been accused of marketing E-cigarettes to minors in North Texas, it’s crucial to take immediate and strategic steps to protect your rights and record. Here’s what you need to do:

Do Not Speak to Authorities Without an Attorney

It’s imperative that you refrain from speaking to authorities or answering any questions without legal representation. Here’s why:

  • Right to Legal Counsel: You have the constitutional right to an attorney. Exercising this right ensures that your interests are protected from the very beginning of the investigation.
  • Avoid Self-Incrimination: Without proper legal advice, you may inadvertently say something that could be used against you. An attorney can guide you on what to say and what to avoid.
  • Legal Strategy: Consulting with an attorney before making any statements allows you to develop a strong defense strategy from the outset.

Call Varghese Summersett

When facing a criminal offense, having experienced legal representation is essential. Here’s why you should contact an experienced attorney at Varghese Summersett:

  • Expertise in Criminal Defense: Our team comprises seasoned criminal defense attorneys who have successfully handled a wide range of criminal cases in Texas. We understand the complexities of laws surrounding the marketing of E-cigarettes to minors.
  • Personalized Defense Strategy: Every case is unique, and we tailor our defense strategies to fit the specific circumstances of your case. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
  • Comprehensive Legal Support: From initial consultations to courtroom representation, we provide full-spectrum legal support. We will investigate the charges, gather evidence, and advocate fiercely on your behalf.
  • Proven Track Record: Our firm has a proven track record of defending clients against serious criminal charges. We bring our extensive experience and dedication to each case we handle.

Contact Us Today

If you are accused of marketing E-cigarettes to minors, don’t wait. Reach out to Varghese Summersett for expert legal assistance today. Our experienced attorneys are ready to defend you and help you navigate this challenging time. We handle cases in Fort Worth, Dallas, Southlake and the surrounding areas.

Call us at 817-203-2220 to schedule your consultation. Your defense starts here.

Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyers

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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