On December 20, 2019, Congress passed a bill raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. Although many states had already upped the age, North Carolina hadn’t. As of now, it is illegal for anyone under the age in NC and across the United States to purchase tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, or vaping products containing liquid nicotine.
Can you be charged for buying tobacco or vape products if you’re under 21?
In NC, yes. It’s a Class 2 misdemeanor. Although the NC General Assembly has not updated the text of the law, expect ALE agents to be watching out for violations.
Can you be charged for selling tobacco or vape products to someone under 21?
Yes. ALE agents in Wake County frequently perform sting operations on local stores, focusing on gas stations and mini-marts to try to catch clerks and owners selling to people under 18. Expect the agents to now up their efforts to make sure stores aren’t selling to anyone under 21.
Is it illegal to buy tobacco or vape products for someone under 21?
Yes. It’s a Class 2 misdemeanor. People should be weary of anyone asking them to buy them tobacco or vaping products — it’s likely a trap.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor under G.S. 14-313 in Wake County, contact the Attorney William Pruden at 919-880-2124 for a free consultation on your citation.