If the governor signs the legislation, Mississippi will increased the age to 21 to buy vapor products and penalties will increase for selling to minors.
In addition to penalties for sellers, minors will face penalties for possessing and use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. Senate Bill 2596 conforms Mississippi law to new federal law to purchase tobacco and vaping products, according to an article in the Clarion Ledger.
If signed into law, several changes will also occur. For anyone selling or providing alternative nicotine products, the penalty increases from $250 for a first offense up to $1,000 for a third and subsequent offense.The maximum penalty is currently a $100 fine for a third or subsequent offense.
The penalties triple if the alternative nicotine product contains any controlled substance prohibited by law, or any other substance that causes the recipient to require emergency medical care.
If a person under 21 found by a court in possession of a tobacco or alternative nicotine product, the penalty will be $100 fine and a maximum 15 hours of community services for a first offense. For a second offense, a $300 fine and up to 25 hours of community service, and for a third and subsequent offense, a $500 fine and up to 40 hours of community service.
In addition to fines and penalties, a business selling tobacco and vaping products to minors could face suspension up to revocation of permits to sell the products based on the number of violations in a 12 month period.