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E-cigarettes and WI Youth Access State Statute

From Vicki Stauffer, Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Section, Department of Health Services, Vicki.stauffer@wi.gov

There have been many questions about youth access laws and e-cigarettes regarding whether retailers can sell e-cigarettes to minors and if minors are allowed to purchase and possess e-cigarettes. TPCP has received clarification from the Department of Health Services Office of Legal Counsel on both of these points.

WI Statute 134.66 states no retailer may sell cigarettes, nicotine products or tobacco products to any person under the age of 18. 

WI Statute 254.92 states no person under 18 years of age may purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess any cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco product.

According to WI Statute 134.66(f), the definition of “nicotine product” is a product that contains nicotine and is not any of the following:

1. A tobacco product

2. A cigarette

3. A product that has been approved by the U.S. food and drug administration for sale as a smoking cessation product

Because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they are covered by both state statues 134.66 and 254.92.  Specifically, it is illegal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes with nicotine to anyone under the age of 18 years old.  It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or possess e-cigarettes with nicotine.

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