In recent years, the tobacco landscape has changed immensely. The use of alternative nicotine products is steadily on the rise. These alternative products are not regulated in the state of Alabama. As a result, underage vaping has become a public health epidemic. The easy access and sleek design of e-cigarettes lures children into using dangerous and addictive vaping products.
District Attorney Ashley Rich has been steadfast in her staunch opposition to vaping, especially the use of these products by minors. Various anti-vaping campaigns have been spearheaded by the District Attorney’s Office. One of which included anti-vaping awareness posters and presentations given at Mobile County schools.
In 2018, District Attorney Rich met with the Drug Education Council to discuss the health risks associated with vaping. The Drug Education Council and other public officials decided to join together and push for the regulation and control of vaping products. From this joint effort, the Stringer-Drummond Vaping Act was created. This bill will safeguard the health of Alabama children and require all establishments to adhere to strict guidelines when selling vaping devices.
The Stringer-Drummond Vaping Act was approved unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee on April 4, 2019, after being introduced by State Representatives Shane Stringer and Barbara Drummond in March. On May 15, 2019, the Stinger-Drummond Vaping Act was passed by the Senate. The legislation is now headed to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk to become law. Once the bill has been signed, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will be required to regulate “retail sales of alternative nicotine devices like the sales of tobacco products, and to prohibit the sale or transfer of alternative nicotine products to minors”.