Smoking Tobacco – Texas Penal Code §48.01

Texas Criminal Law

The Smoking Tobacco crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you smoked tobacco or used an e-cigarette in one of the prohibited places listed in the statute. Learn more detailed information about the Smoking Tobacco offense below.

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Smoking Tobacco is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 10 “Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, And Morals,” Chapter 48 “Conduct Affecting Public Health.”

What is the current Texas law about Smoking Tobacco?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Smoking Tobacco in Penal Code Section §48.01 as follows:[1]

(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person is in possession of a burning tobacco product, smokes tobacco, or operates an e-cigarette in a facility of a public primary or secondary school or an elevator, enclosed theater or movie house, library, museum, hospital, transit system bus, intrastate bus, plane, or train which is a public place.

How can I be charged with Smoking Tobacco?

You can be charged with Smoking Tobacco if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 48.01(a-1) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Smoking Tobacco?

A conviction for Smoking Tobacco is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,[2] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

Does the Smoking Tobacco offense apply to e-cigarettes?

Yes, the law applies to e-cigarettes and vapes. In 2015, the Texas legislature passed a law that treated e-cigarettes the same as other tobacco products.[3]

Legal References:

^1. Texas Penal Code §48.01^2. Texas Penal Code §48.01(f)^3. S.B. 97, 84th Texas Legislature, Section 2

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