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The Paramus Board of Health has announced that Mint Vape Shop has received a summons for selling an e-cigarette product to an individual under the age of 21. As of November 2017, New Jersey increased the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, from 19 to 21.
Health Officer Judith Migliaccio and the Paramus Board of Health inspectors partnered with Detective Sargent James Teehan, another Police Officer, and an underage youth who participated in the Tobacco Age-of-Sale Enforcement Program. This program gives local health departments the authority to conduct unannounced compliance check inspections in local tobacco establishments. The program uses underage volunteers, who enter establishments that sell cigarettes and e-cigarettes and attempt to make a purchase of a tobacco product. If the teenager is successful in making a purchase, a summons is issued by the Health Department.
Penalties for violation of the law range from $250.00 for a first offense, up to $1,000.00 for a third and subsequent offense and possible suspension or revocation of the retailer’s State license to sell tobacco products.
Electronic smoking devices are increasing in popularity among Middle and High school students. According to a recent study from the CDC more than 2 million U.S. Middle and High School students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.
Moreover, aside from containing nicotine, these devices contain ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Flavoring such as diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease, volatile organic compounds, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead are also present in dangerous amounts. “It is very disturbing that a vape shop retailer sold vape products to a minor”, Migliaccio stated. “Continued aggressive enforcement efforts on the part of local health departments throughout New Jersey will help to prevent the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarette products to minors.”