What Is the Age Requirement to Vape?

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Vaping has seen a lot of restrictions come into effect over the past year or so, and all the while, it seems as though vaping has never been more popular. However, one thing many people continue to stress is the notion of underage vaping. While no manufacturer aims to encourage anyone not of the legal age limit to be vaping, ensuring this information gets out there is essential. So, if you’re asking “what age do I need to be to vape,” you’re about to get the answer.

Vaping vs. Smoking

Vaping and smoking are inherently different things. Yes, they are similar. Yes, vaping was developed to directly compete with and eventually replace smoking. Yes, you can swap smoking for vaping and experience something almost the same. But above all, what is contained in the two methods, and what each entails, is remarkably different. With vaping, there is no tobacco even though the FDA regulates vaping products as tobacco products. There is no smoke produced. There is no tar produced. There is no smell. No combustion. Vaping involves using electronic devices that enable the user to vaporize a specialty liquid into hits of vapor, that mimic the experience of smoking, without actual tobacco or burning plant matter.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Vape?

In order to purchase a vaporizer or other vape-related product, the simplest measure to know what age one must be is to consult the smoking age requirement for your state or locality. The minimum age to vape will always be 18 or older in the United States.

As of August 8, 2016, the FDA’s tobacco deeming regulations went into effect. The FDA now considers vaping products tobacco products, and the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco cigarette products is 18 nationwide. Though you should take note, several other states and localities take this further by implementing more restrictive age limits for legal use. Vapor products are considered to be tobacco products, so they follow the same guidelines. For example, several states have 21 listed as the minimum age. In others, it is 19. Additionally, cities and localities have the ability to determine the legal age of purchasing tobacco products, so even if state laws mandate the age as 18, there may be instances in which certain cities or counties have higher minimum smoking and vaping ages. If you intend on purchasing, it’s important to be aware of these rules ahead of time to ensure you are legally of age.

Some examples of these states with higher age limits are Alaska, Alabama, and Utah, where the age to purchase tobacco and vapor products is 19. Oregon, Maine, Hawaii, and California require people to be 21 to purchase the products, and as of November 1, 2017, New Jersey’s age limit changed from 19 to 21.

What’s the Deal with Nicotine?

You may be wondering if zero-nicotine vape juices are being held to the same age limits as the laws regarding vape products, and the answer is yes. Even without nicotine in the liquids, vape juices are still considered to be tobacco products, subject to the same laws, and governed accordingly. Therefore, even if you opt for no nicotine, you still have to adhere to the age restrictions set by the laws of your state or city.

The Bottom Line on the Age Requirement of Vaping

To buy vaping products, you need to be a minimum of 18 years old everywhere in the United States. In some locations, though, you need to be 19, 20, or 21. Before purchasing any vapor products, check the laws for your city and state to confirm that your locality hasn’t set a higher minimum smoking age.

Author: Guest Contributor

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