E-cigarette preemption laws: Limiting local communities from protecting youth

Sunday Azagba, Jessica King Jensen, Todd Ebling, Mark Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


E-cigarette use is prevalent among youth in the United States. Historically, local communities have been a catalyst for adopting evidence-based tobacco control policies. However, some states have ceiling preemption laws that prevent more stringent statutes from being enacted at the city or county level and inhibit tobacco control efforts. The current study documents state preemption laws regarding e-cigarette advertising, licensure, indoor clean air, and youth access. We conducted a systematic synthesis of state statutes to identify states with e-cigarette preemption laws. Data were collected on four policy categories being preempted: advertising, licensure, clean indoor air, and youth access. Laws were compiled, and the content was verified using the Westlaw legal database. In the US, 25 states preempt stricter local e-cigarette regulations in 55 laws. Of these states, 19 preempt advertising regulations, 11 preempt licensure requirements, four preempt ordinances for indoor clean air, and 21 preempt youth access. A broad range of terms was employed to describe preemption, yet few states explicitly used the term "preempt." E-cigarette ceiling preemption laws inhibit public health progress and prevent local authorities from addressing the popularity of e-cigarettes among adolescents.States without preemption laws should be encouraged to adopt language that expressly saves local authority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107462
JournalPreventive Medicine
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jan 24 2023


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