GREENSBORO -- New warning labels can be seen in tobacco stores and on electronic cigarette packages. "Not for sale to minors."
It's a new law in North Carolina that is now in effect. So retailers could face the same misdemeanor charge for selling e-cigs as they did for other tobacco products and as much as a $1,000 fine.
"It does contain nicotine, which is also in cigarettes," Jabed Rana of Charlie's Tobacco Outlet said. "So I mean it goes hand in hand."
E-cigarettes can operate on rechargeable batteries that heat a liquid nicotine solution.
"It contains less chemicals, harmful chemicals, than it does in a regular cigarette," Rana said. "And it doesn't cause any second hand smoke."
E-cigarettes were originally introduced as a way to kick addiction to real tobacco products, yet public health officials don't see it that way.
"The behavior it promotes is a smoking behavior, hand to mouth inhalation," Mary Gillett, the tobacco prevention coordinator at the Guilford County Department of Public Health said. "There are plenty of effective and safe methods that are already approved for smoking cessation and electronic cigarettes are not one of them."
But health officials said they praise the new law because it will help keep harmful nicotine products out of the hands of kids.
"There is a fair amount of nicotine in them and it can be a gateway to nicotine addiction," Gillett said.
"A lot of young, young users like to experiment with different flavors," Rana said. "It's a new trend. It's a new generation."
A new product now regulated like the original.
Like cigarettes and other tobacco products, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency is in charge of compliance.