September 15, 2015

Most regulations on e-cigarettes take effect Sept. 25

Seeking to protect children from the harms of nicotine products, Attorney General Maura Healey has published the final set regulations of regarding electronic smoking devices, or e-cigarettes.

The regulations prohibit sales to minors, and require child-resistant packaging for e-liquids and gels.

The regulations were filed Friday with the Secretary of State's office. The statement from Healey's office said businesses in the Bay State will be provided information on the new regulations in order to stay in compliance and know what steps to take when selling the products.

"The growth of the e-cigarette market has posed a serious public health risk to Massachusetts residents and calls for strict oversight to protect our young people," Healey said in the statement. "Now that these regulations are in place, businesses will be required to keep these addictive products out of the hands of minors, an important step to further reduce youth smoking."

The new regulations establish a minimum sales age of at least 18 for electronic smoking devices. The minimum sales age may be higher in cities or towns that have established a higher minimum age of sale by ordinance or bylaw, the statement said.

The regulations also:

• Prohibit sampling, promotional giveaways and other free distributions;

• Prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes in any manner other than face-to-face exchanges (with exceptions for vending machines in establishments open to persons over18);

• Require that e-cigarettes be out of the reach of all consumers and in a location only accessible to store employees;

• Require all e-cigarette retailers to take measures to prevent sales to minors; and

• Require that nicotine liquid or gel be sold in appropriate child resistant packaging that meets federal standards. (E-cigarettes rely on liquids and gels to deliver nicotine to the user.)

The new rules, except for the child resistant packaging requirement, are effective Sept. 25. The packaging requirement does not take effect until March 15, 2016.

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