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When could tobacco become an illegal drug?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Defense, CRIMINAL LAW - Drug Charges

While most people understand that cigarettes and tobacco products are harmful to their health, adults who are 21 and older have the right to buy and use these products. Tobacco, while itself not a drug, contains nicotine, which is a drug under the law.

For this reason, there is serious regulation of this substance. The age limit for purchase is something the state strictly enforces. Should someone sell to an underage individual, it becomes a legal violation.

The legal statute on tobacco

Oklahoma law makes it illegal for anyone to sell or give a person under the age of 21 tobacco products. Tobacco products include any product containing nicotine, such as vapes.

Preventing underage purchases

To avoid sales to underage individuals, the state requires strict identification checks when selling the products. It is not a viable defense to say the seller did not know the person was underage if the seller did not follow identification requirements. Every purchase must include checking a valid and legal form of identification. If the buyer cannot provide such proof of age, then the seller cannot sell him or her the tobacco product.

There is an exception to this rule. As long as it is obvious the person is not under the age of 21, then the seller does not have to ask for identification. But this exception should be something sellers use with caution.

Illegal tobacco sales to underage individuals result in an administrative penalty of fines and potentially the loss or suspension of the license to sell tobacco products.