• February 28, 2024

West Virginia House Passes ID Check for Vapes

 West Virginia House Passes ID Check for Vapes

Credit: Sean Pavone Photo

Credit: Sean Pavone Photo

West Virginia delegates voted nearly unanimously Tuesday for a proposal that, if passed by the Senate, would require stores by law to check IDs on vape purchases, verifying one’s age with the buyer’s driving license, passport, military card, or other government identification.

The proposal is sponsored by Del. Heather Tully. She says current law is not clear on if a store must check your ID. Her proposal removes that uncertainty, according to media reports.

The proposal would increase fines for those in violation — from $250 for a first offense to a maximum of $5,000 for a fourth offense and every other instance thereafter within five years of the initial conviction.

Yet, one discrepancy remains — what age can one buy vaping products?

Federal law says 21. West Virginia law says 18.

Clark has introduced separate legislation to raise West Virginia’s age to 21.

That proposal waits action in Tully’s committee. She says its progress remains uncertain in the House.

“It’s a personal liberty question,” she told WSAZ. “I know that the body may be a little bit more divided on that — at what age is it appropriate, what age is considered an adult — and so I would rather keep the focus on checking the IDs and making sure that we are verifying the IDs for sales, rather than splitting the body on the semantics of should it be 18 or 21.”

“I get both arguments,” Clark said. “How we come across — or how we fix it? I have no clue.”

The legislation to check IDs now moves to the state Senate.