Vaping has expanded significantly over the last decade, becoming the most popular consumer alternative to cigarettes and the most commonly used product to help people stop smoking. However, with its growing popularity has come a difficult category of customers: inquisitive youngsters. Regulators and legislators have employed a range of measures to keep minors away from vapor goods. The most popular is limiting the age at which you may purchase vape devices.
Enforcing a legal minimum sales age for e-cigarettes, like with alcohol, is not a perfect answer, but it is the most reliable strategy to limit teen vaping. It’s difficult for politicians to decide the legal age to vape, how old you must be to buy a vaping product, the consequences for shops that break the law, and how to police an age-to-purchase statute. After all, lawmakers who get it wrong may inadvertently boost child or adult smoking or contribute to the development of a black market.
In most countries, vaping is either regulated as a tobacco product, as part of a standalone consumer goods category or not. Vapor products are prohibited in various countries. In countries where e-cigarettes are regulated, the legal age to purchase them is usually the same as when residents are considered adults. In most nations, that age is 18, although as we will see, it varies. The legal vaping age in the United States, the world’s largest vaping market, is 21.
What is the legal age in the United States to purchase vapes?
In response to pressure from tobacco control organizations and worried parents, Congress approved the Tobacco 21 Act in December 2019. The new provision included in the year-end federal spending package was signed into law by President Trump on December 20 and went into effect immediately. Although it applies to cigarettes and other tobacco products, the regulation was prompted by concerns about teen vaping.
The bill amends the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to make it “illegal for any shop to sell a tobacco product to any individual under the age of 21.”
It requires each state to demonstrate that the age limit is being implemented, even if it has not enacted its own Tobacco 21 statute or risk losing a portion of its federal substance addiction matching payments.
The new law does not penalize anyone under 21 for purchasing, using, or possessing (often referred to as “PUP laws”), but only retailers that sell to underage customers. Current state and municipal rules that exempt particular groups (for example, active-duty military members) are superseded by federal law, which provides no such exemptions.
The legal purchasing age for non-nicotine items
E-cigarettes and e-liquid are tobacco products or components or portions of tobacco products under the Deeming Rule. Components and pieces are controlled as tobacco products because they can be used to affect the performance of a “finished product.”
It is controlled in the same way as nicotine-free e-liquid as long as it can be used with a product (such as a mod or atomizer) that can also be used with nicotine-containing e-juice. It may appear absurd, but the FDA justified including atomizer coils, batteries, and computer software in their definition of tobacco products in this manner.
It is prohibited for a merchant to sell zero-nicotine e-liquid to anyone under 21 because it is classified as a tobacco product.
The legal smoking age in many nations across the world
Apart from countries that have banned vapes or have no vaping rules, most countries simply utilize the legal adult age to define the minimum age to purchase vapor goods (and other adult products).
Some countries have a nationwide legal age, although local states or provinces can set higher legal ages. In Canada, for example, the national minimum age is 18. However, many provinces and territories have placed the age to purchase vaping products at 19. In Australia, the sale of nicotine-containing consumer items (excluding cigarettes) is prohibited without a doctor’s prescription. However, non-nicotine vapes are permitted, and the minimum age for purchase varies by state.
Suppose you intend to travel to another nation with your vaping products. In that case, it’s a good idea to check with authorities in that country before you depart to get the most up-to-date information on vaping laws and practices.
Is Vaping Classified As A Tobacco Product?
The FDA has a comprehensive definition of tobacco products. Tobacco products include nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. However, so are the vape batteries used in e-cigarette modifications. Also considered tobacco products are the battery chargers for your e-cigarette kits and pod vape systems. The FDA believes virtually everything linked with vaping to be a tobacco product.
What Is the Legal Age to Vape Nicotine-Free?
They are the same. A tobacco product includes all vapor products. The vape device is classified as a tobacco product. As a result, utilizing any gadget necessitates the user to be of legal age: nicotine or no nicotine.
What Kinds of Substances Can Be Vaped?
It is possible to vape e-liquid with or without nicotine. But vaping is about more than just nicotine. Cannabis and CBD vapes are now widely available. Several states are attempting to restrict oil-based vape chemicals in response to the vape lung ailment EVALI. THC oils, specifically the vitamin E acetate used in some THC oil cartridges, fall within this category.
State Vape Laws
However, each state has its own vape legislation in addition to federal regulations. The general situation of vaping rules is still a moving target. In the United States, vaping legislation might vary from one block to the next, let alone state by state!
MINIMUM VAPING AGE REGULATIONS VARY BY STATE
Aside from the federal minimum age for using a vape, each state in the United States has its own rules governing the sale and use of vaping products. These vape laws are constantly changing, but we’ve compiled the most up-to-date legal vaping ages for each state.
Utah, Alabama, and Alaska have set a minimum vaping age of 19 years old. In Alaska, vaping devices can be certified for medical and health use by people under 18. The legal smoking age in Arizona is 18 years old. To legally purchase a vaping device in Arkansas, you must be 21 years old. On the other hand, younger people have the legal right to acquire free samples of vaping chemicals and devices. In California, e-cigarettes and vaping devices are only authorized for citizens over the age of 21 or active-duty military personnel over 18. Colorado has an 18-year-old vaping age as well.
If you’re at least 21 years old, you can buy a vaporizer in Connecticut and Delaware. If you are under 18, it is unlawful to sell or use vaping products in Florida or Georgia. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia are among the major states with a vaping age of 21. In most of the remainder of the United States, vapers must be at least 18 years old.
WHO AND HOW DETERMINES THE LEGAL AGE FOR VAPING?
Legislators are having difficulty determining the intricacies of age limitations on vaping. They are in charge of establishing laws regulating the age at which vaping items can be purchased and used, as well as the punishments for anyone who violates these vaping guidelines and purchases a vape before they are of legal smoking age.
In many countries, vaping is regulated similarly that tobacco products are. Others treat vaping products as standalone consumer goods. Some countries either do not regulate vaping or explicitly prohibit it, but both are uncommon.
Countries that regulate e-cigarettes and vaping commonly set the legal age of purchase and consumption at the same age as adults. So, how old must you be to vape? The legal age is normally 18 years old, but, in the United States, you must be 21 years old. There are also strict rules on where you can vape, like aboard a plane.