Updated Guide to Vaping Laws in California in 2023

There are a number of vaping laws California has enforced in recent years. These pertain to the following:

  • License and legal requirements for retailers and manufacturers
  • Packaging and marketing vaping devices regulations
  • Flavored tobacco products ban and law
  • Public place vaping restrictions
  • Legal vaping age law

As a vaper, you would hope you have the freedom to buy your desired vape products wherever you are in the world. However, not every country has the same attitude toward vapes as others do. More specifically, there are some states in the US that restrict the ability of citizens to buy and sell vape products both offline and online.

California has seen quite a bit of change in recent years when it comes to new laws over vaping and the existence of tobacco retailers in-person and in some cases, online. This guide will explain all of the vaping laws in place for this state and how that might impact your buying power as a Californian resident in 2023.


History of vaping laws in California

Prior to the flavor ban put in place, Californian vapers could buy flavored vapes in-store and via vending machines. That also included flavored tobacco products and tobacco products in general.

As well as this law, the legal vaping age is also set at the same as for those who want to buy alcohol - 21 years. As this law and the prohibition of flavored tobacco products were introduced to protect teens from getting hooked on nicotine, regulations on packaging and marketing are also in place.

There are also vape laws in place to ensure all retailers and manufacturers are properly licensed and operating legally.

These laws have been put in place to help reduce the number of young people getting their hands on vapes and tobacco products at an early age. While California voters approved a number of restrictions, some states don't allow vaping products at all.

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What are the vaping laws in California in 2023?

There are a number of vaping laws in California in place and if you're looking for more information on what's allowed vs what's not allowed, then you've come to the right place!

We've got a helpful guide on Elf Bars banned in California and the restrictions for these products, as well as plenty of other helpful guides on California's bans.

License and legal requirements for retailers and manufacturers

To comply with the California Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003, every retailer that sells or will sell cigarettes or tobacco products will need to have a cigarette and tobacco retailers license from the CDTFA. This needs to be renewed annually and is part of the licensing needed, along with other permits and licenses depending on your operations.

The definition of a tobacco product includes:

  • Products containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine for human consumption.
  • Any electronic smoking or vaping device that delivers nicotine or vaporized liquids.
  • Any part, accessory, or component of a tobacco product.

Non-compliance penalties

For those who don't keep accurate and complete records with proof of licensing are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for up to a year in county jail, or both.

Packaging and marketing vaping devices regulations

The FDA is responsible for establishing product standards when it comes to the packaging, marketing, and distribution of electronic cigarettes.

In order for electronic cigarettes to receive marketing approval, the manufacturer must be able to demonstrate that the product is appropriate for the protection of public health.

Whether that's flavored premium cigars, tobacco product flavor enhancers, or flavored tobacco, there are certain parameters that these manufacturers have to meet when packaging their products.

California in particular, has a new bill in the works called Assembly Bill 1639 which restricts manufacturers from advertising, promoting, or packaging vape products that may be attractive to persons under the age of 21. As this bill has only reached assembly so far, at the time of writing, it's still in progress.

Non-compliance penalties

The FDA can see maximum penalties of $19,192 for a single violation relating to tobacco products, which include flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers.

As Assembly Bill 1639 has yet to be passed, it's not able to enforce any penalties currently.

Flavored tobacco products ban and law

The flavored tobacco ban, otherwise known as Proposition 31 restricts retailers from selling tobacco product flavor enhancer devices and tobacco products in general. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, with menthol cigarettes being banned completely.

To buy vapes in California after the flavored ban, you now have to check if you can buy them within the area you live in before shopping online. There are a number of online retailers now offering electronic cigarettes, as well as flavored premium cigars, pipe tobacco, and more for Californians online.

Non-compliance penalties

For anyone that is seen to be selling electronic cigarettes or tobacco-flavored products in person, will face a $250 fine per violation. There may be more significant fines or penalties put in place depending on local regulations in their jurisdiction.

Public place vaping restrictions

According to e-cigarette regulations for California, there are a number of public places where e-cigarettes are prohibited from use. These include:

  • enclosed places of employment
  • family daycare facilities
  • foster and group homes
  • playgrounds and youth sports events
  • in public buildings 'within 20 feet of the main exit, entrance, or operable window'
  • on public transport
  • schools and county offices of education

You can find the whole list of prohibited public spaces here.

Non-compliance penalties

For those that don't comply with this law, there is a fine of up to $25 per violation. While it's a small amount, it's important to be respectful of others within the public domain.

Legal vaping age law

The legal vaping age in California is currently 21 years of age. There's an exception for military personnel in which members need to be at least 18 years of age to purchase any flavored e-cigarettes or flavored tobacco products.

The new age law was bought in to help curb the number of youths trying to buy vapes where they were getting hooked on nicotine as a result.

Non-compliance penalties

For any minor in possession of a vape device or flavored tobacco product, they're not likely to face any penalty. However, anyone that's caught selling to minors will face fines of up to $1,000 depending on the number of offenses caused.

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Where to order tobacco products online and get them delivered to California?

To buy tobacco products online, you can trust TheSmokyBox. We're a trusted vape store that complies with all of California's vaping laws. We help keen Californian vapers, to get their hands on quality vape devices in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors.

If you want to order vapes online in California, TheSmokyBox is the one place you'll want to shop all year round.

We offer plenty of sales and discounts on products regularly and you'll be spoilt for choice on what's available.

If you buy as a SmokyClub member, you'll get 15% off your first order and free deliveries on orders over $50 when shipping anywhere in the US.

Vaping laws in California FAQs

Are there any upcoming changes to vaping laws in California this year?

At the moment, there are no other upcoming changes to vaping laws in California this year. The only bill to be aware of is Assembly Bill 1639 which may progress further to Senate. Although there's no news on this as of yet.

Can I order vaping products online in California?

Yes, you can purchase vaping products online at TheSmokyBox. We're one of the best for online retailers of vape products. We're trusted and comply with all Californian vaping and tobacco laws.

You'll need to check though if you have any local laws or restrictions when it comes to ordering vapes online though.

How can I learn more about vaping laws in California?

There are plenty of helpful resources when it comes to learning more about the vaping laws in California. These include: