Laws change.

Courts define the words in statutes when a person brings a case. Also, the legislature can change the words in statutes. You will see, "last updated date" on the top of a law, if the law hasn't been updated for a while on this site, check the Arizona Revised Statutes, to find out what the current law says.

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What Are They?

· Electronic Cigarettes are tobacco free products that use battery power to heat up liquid in the place of tobacco. Also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, and vapors, these mechanisms are actually vaporizers. When the liquid heats up it turns into vapor, which is inhaled. Some argue that there are many health advantages over traditional cigarettes, however there is currently not much research on e-cigarettes. Therefore it is difficult to know what potential health risks or benefits there are, or even the amounts of chemicals that are entering your body once you inhale the vapor. While it is true that e-cigarettes are tobacco free, they are not nicotine free. The typical combination of liquid that is in an e-cigarette is nicotine, flavorings, and propylene glycol. Some mixtures are known to have more nicotine than a traditional cigarette.

Known Concerns

· One of the main health concerns with e-cigarettes that have been expressed is the dangers that surround liquid nicotine. To produce this lethal liquid, nicotine is extracted from tobacco leaves. There is potential for harm when it is inhaled, but it can also be harmful when ingested and when absorbed through the skin. It only takes one tablespoon to have deadly affects if ingested by an Glossary Link adult and as little as a teaspoon if swallowed by a child. The Food and Drug Administration has also found that it is common for manufactures not to fully or correctly disclose the ingredients within their products. An example of this is the amount of nicotine listed on the cartridges is much lower than what is actually found after testing. The FDA has also found diethylene glycol within the nicotine liquid mixture, which is a toxic chemical also found in antifreeze.

Smoking Electronic Cigarettes in Public

· When electronic cigarettes were first produced they were advertised as tobacco free and therefore smoking these vapors was legal in all public spaces because they did not admit smoke. With a lack of research on e-cigarettes and their health risks the Food and Drug Administration has not yet decided if where they can be used will be regulated. However this has not stopped states and cities throughout the country to passing laws to restrict public smoking of electronic cigarettes. Currently, Arizona does not have a state-wide law regulating where smoking is and is not allowed. However cities within the state have begun to pass regulations over e-cigarettes. Currently there are three cities that ban/ regulate the use of e-cigarettes. As of August 2014, Tempe banned the use of e-cigarettes in all public places and shortly after the town of Guadeloupe passed a similar ordinance. Just a few months later the city of Gilbert banned e-cigarettes in enclosed city owned buildings.

Who Can Use and Buy Electronic Cigarettes

· In the state of Arizona, it is illegal for a Glossary Link minor to possess, buy, or be given an electronic cigarette under Arizona Revised Statue 13-3622. Under this statue if a minor attempts to misrepresent his age in hopes of purchasing or is simply in possession of an e-cigarette they will be guilty of a petty crime and responsible to pay a fine of no more than five hundred dollars and not less than one hundred dollars or preform not less than thirty hours of community restitution.

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What is emancipation?

If a minor does not feel safe, secure, or healthy in their own home, he or she can file for emancipation, which grants minors certain legal rights that are normally reserved for people over 18. Emancipated minors can sign their own leases, sign binding contracts, apply for loans, and access their own medical information. These rights are intended to make living independently easier. For the full list of additional rights, click here to view the Arizona State Statute.

What are the requirements for becoming emancipated?

A minor must be at least 16 years of age, a resident of Arizona, financially self-sufficient, aware of the potential risks and consequences of emancipation and may not be a ward of the state in order to file for emancipation. (A.R.S. 12-2451(A))

What is the process for becoming emancipated?

The minor can file an emancipation petition with the clerk at their county’s local court. When considering the minors’ ability to live independently, the court will want to see that the minor is financially independent, able to maintain healthcare, a household, education or employment, and that they are able to manage important social affairs.

When filing documents, a notarized statement by the guardians granting consent of the emancipation order would be most influential. However, if not possible, the minor must then submit a statement to the court explaining why the home of their legal guardians is not a suitable environment or documentation that the minor has been living on their own for three consecutive months. If everything checks out, within 90 days of submitting the petition, the court will hear the minor’s case.

Once the legal guardians receive the court notice, they may file a response objecting the petition within 30 days. For further detailed processes, review the Arizona State Statue on emancipation petitions here.

Which factors are considered most important to the court’s ruling?

The court will rule in the best interest of the minor. For the full list of factors used to determine the ruling, please view A.R.S. § 12-2453 . The most important factors are listed below:

1. The potential risks and consequences of emancipation and to what degree the minor understands these risks and consequences.

2. The wishes of the minor.

3. The opinions and recommendations of the minor's parent or guardian.

4. The financial resources of the minor, including the minor's employment history.

5. The minor's ability to be financially self-sufficient.

6. The minor's level of education and the minor's success in school.

7. Whether the minor has a criminal record.

What happens if the parents of the minor reject the emancipation petition?

If the parents or legal guardians reject the petition, and if the court believes a resolution can be met, the court may order both parties to mediation. If the source of contention is resolved, both parties would sign and submit the mediation agreement to the court, ending the petition of emancipation. (A.R.S. 12-2452(B))

What if the parent rejects the emancipation petition but is found guilty of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment?

If the petition contains allegations of child abuse, the court may require further investigation from child protective services. Those findings can be submitted to the court for further judgment. If the parent or legal guardians are found guilty of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the court will rule in the best interest of the minor. (A.R.S. 12-2452(A)(2))

Is the court’s decision conclusive?

Once an emancipation order is granted by the court, the minor’s dependency on their legal guardians is officially terminated and he or she may start practicing their new found legal rights.

If an emancipated minor moves to Arizona, are they still granted their rights within Arizona borders?

Arizona grants full legal rights to emancipated minors from other states as long as he or she can prove documentation of emancipation and is at least 16 years of age. (A.R.S. 12-2455 )

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2167 into law, making it illegal to sell, possess or use synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as "K2" or "Spice." A.R.S. § 13-3401 and A.R.S. § 36-2512 were changed based upon this approved bill.

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In 2011, the Arizona Legislature DID NOT PASS SB 1538, a bill that makes it a traffic violation with possible fines and penalties if a person is texting while driving. Learn more about SB 1538, by going to the Arizona legislature's website.

The "Debate it!" legislature would have passed this bill.

However beware that simply because something is not prohibited under Arizona state law, it may still be illegal under the local law of a particular city or county. For example, the City of Phoenix has a law making it illegal to send text messages while driving: Phoenix City Code 36-76.01. Tucson also has a law prohibiting texting while driving, Code 20-160. To check your city's laws, visit the city website; most cities either post their codes and ordinances online, or link to a site that houses their laws.

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2167 into law, making it illegal to sell, possess or use synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as "K2" or "Spice." A.R.S. § 13-3401 and A.R.S. § 36-2512 were changed based upon this approved bill.

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