New Legislation Also Raises Legal Age to Buy E-Cigarettes

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SACRAMENTO -- With the stroke of a pen, California becomes the second state in the country to raise the legal smoking age to 21.

The package of bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday doesn't just regulate cigarettes but also electronic cigarettes. For the first time e-cig products are classified as tobacco.

Electric Cigarette Lounge owner Barry Smith said he'll follow the new tobacco laws when they go into effect on June 9, but that doesn't mean he agrees with them.

"They're all negative bad things for a good product. This is the anti-cigarette, this isn't a bad thing," Smith said.

California Senator Ed Hernandez authored the bill raising the age from 18 to 21 to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Businesses including vape shops that don't check IDs will have to answer to the California Department of Public Health. The state agency will do random sting operations to make sure retailers are following the regulations.

Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration also took a stance against e-cigarettes by issuing rules to restrict access to children.

Manufactures will have to meet public safety standards while retailers can't give out free samples or sell products in vending machines.

Hernandez said California's bill combined with the FDA's new regulations will help the battle against underage smokers.

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