Roe Passes Underage Anti-Tobacco, Vaping Bill

Mar 14, 2023
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Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay, has secured passage of legislation addressing tobacco and vape usage in people under 21.

In 2022, the Legislature approved legislation eliminating municipal enforcement and ordinances related to underage tobacco use and possession. After working with the Oklahoma Municipal League, Roe filed House Bill 2165 to returns authority to municipalities to enact and enforce ordinances related to tobacco and vape products.

Oklahoma's current age minimum to purchase tobacco is 21, and if HB2165 becomes law, anyone under 21 who purchases or attempts to purchase tobacco must complete a tobacco education program approved by the court. Violators would be required to complete an education or tobacco use cessation program or community service as ordered by the court.

"The use of tobacco, nicotine and vapor products in our young people is a serious epidemic, and many of Oklahoma's underage users are not considering the long-term health risks associated with ingesting these products," Roe said. "It's my hope that this measure will help educate our young people about the dangers of these products and ultimately save lives."

Roe said her measure has a companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 462, which would require all municipal judges to go through a mandatory certification program that will address issues like dealing with underage tobacco and vaping use.

Following a 71-16 vote in the House, HB2165 heads to the Senate.

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal