“How old do I have to be to vape?”, “Are vape products allowed for minors?” “What is legal vaping age in my country?” – these and many other questions are asked by people who would like to quit tobacco due to e-cigs. As vaping has got the status of a healthier alternative for adult smokers, the industry has received a troublesome group of fans as well: curious teenagers. Nevertheless, vaping was and will always be an industry open for adults only. However, the legal age to buy vape products varies around the world. So, what is the proper line between a child and an adult when it comes to vaping: 18, 19 or 21? Let’s have a close look at the vaping age regulations around the globe.
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When does the childhood end and the adulthood begin when it comes to e-cigs? In most countries, the legal age for smoking and vaping is equal to the legal age for voting, getting a driving license, applying for a credit, etc. Typically, this age is 18. However, there are some countries that put the age limit higher, making e-cigarettes available for individuals of 19 or even 21 years old. Most of the online stores have implemented age verification popups, in order to inform visitors about the age limit and make sure they are old enough to browse the content of the website and purchase vape products and vape sale online. It’s obvious that online stores have more underage access than offline ones, so ensuring the online portal is restricting youth access is even more important (and more difficult).
Brick and mortar stores should also have a proper age verification. Any sales rep should ask for ID Authentication anyone that appears under the age of 27. By the way, fake IDs are easily available from multiple sources on the web, and they are so sophisticated that even law enforcement can’t tell the difference.
Before we continue with age laws in many countries, it’s important to say that there are some countries that ban vaping altogether. It does not matter whether you’re 18, 30, or 50 y.o. – you are not allowed to vape in Thailand, Qatar, Singapore, Egypt, India, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia.
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There are specific rules when it comes to vaping in Australia. However, vaping is allowed to all adults who have reached the age of 18.
You should be at least 18+ to use or buy vape stuff. In 2017 the e-cigarettes and any vape related products were classified as “a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool” by the Health Ministry in New Zealand.
The United Kingdom
The UK has standard vaping rules which ban selling e-cigarettes to minors. The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) implemented the 18+ age rule back in 2015. Retailers who sell vapes to minors are fined £2,500 for the offense.
The United States of America
In the USA the vaping age limit have varied in many states from 18+ to 21+ till December, 2019. For instance in Utah, Alabama and Alaska vaping along with tobacco products was allowed to persons who have reached the age of 19. In Oregon, California, New Jersey, Maine and Hawaii you would have to be at least 21 to be allowed to purchase any vape product and use it. But how are things with the legal vaping age going today, in 2020 in the USA?
Tobacco 21 Law
Tobacco 21 or T-21 law is a USA campaign aimed at raising the legal smoking age. In spite of the fact that vaping is nowhere near smoking, the new law still includes electronic cigarettes among the “tobacco products”. In 2019 during White House vaping round table President Trump said he would probably support a T-21 bill and make e-cigarettes and e-juices along with all tobacco products available for adults aged 21+.
Proponents of T-21 law claim that the following age regulations will make high school students have less access to adult products, if their peers are unable to buy for them. Many teenagers have friends as old as 18, who are legally able to purchase tobacco cigarettes and share with them. Friends and relatives are considered the most common source of any tobacco products used by high school students.
In December 2019, President Donald Trump signed the new minimum age into law as part of a sweeping spending bill. The law is now in effect, which means that any online or offline store in the US is not legally able to sell any tobacco product, including combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars, to anyone under the age of 21.
The federal government of Canada has imposed various age restrictions according to the region. Thus, if you’re in Ontario, you have to be 19, but if you’re in Manitoba, you’ll have to be at least 18 y.o to vape. In Calgary city, in the Alberta area, vaping and smoking has been banned altogether since 2015.
China is a mother country of vaping and even today approximately 90% of industry products come from there. Despite the vape regulations are not that strict like in other countries, the age limit still exists for using e-cigarettes 18+.
The EU countries have different vape regulations, but the prevalent vaping age is 18+. Most of the EU countries does not allow vaping in most public places and have big penalties for selling vape products to minors.
E-cigarettes are becoming more popular year by year across the UK, with over 3 million vapers. And there are so many people out there who try to sully the reputation of vaping claiming that vaping is targeted to minors. In fact, vaping authorities as well as manufacturers and distributors urge consumers not to use electronic cigarettes, if they have not reached the legal vaping age in their country. The vape companies comply with strict laws on selling vape products to underage and have effective age verification measures.