Over the last decade, vaping has grown rapidly. It has become the most popular consumer competition for cigarettes. It has now become the most common product used to quit smoking.
Along with its increased popularity also comes the most troublesome chunk of customers: the curious teenagers. Many steps have been taken to find a solution to the above-stated problem.
Regulators and legislators have come up with various strategies to keep the adolescent population away from such kinds of vapor products. The most common approach regulated is how old you have to be to vape.
Although enforcing a legal minimum sales age is not the perfect solution, it is still a more reliable way to keep teenagers far from vaping. It is seen that making such laws as to how old you have to be to vape, how old to buy a vape, penalties for any sort of diligence, and enforcing the age law isn’t that easy.
After all, lawmakers who get it wrong may very well accidentally increase youth or adult smoking or help create a black market.
What has been observed in the last few decades is that either vape has been strictly regulated as a tobacco product in a standalone consumer category, or it is strictly prohibited.
Legal Age To Buy Vapes In The USA
The USA is the largest vaping market in the world, with the legal age for vaping as 21 years.
Congress faced a lot of pressure from tobacco control groups and concerned parents, due to which they passed the federal Tobacco 21 Law in December 2019. Trump signed this law on December 20, was included in the federation appropriations bill simultaneously, and was brought into effect immediately.
The bill adds a line to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, stating that it “shall be unlawful for any retailer to sell a tobacco product to any person younger than 21 years of age.” It enforced an age limit to each state, even if they hadn’t passed the Tobacco 21 Law.
This law doesn’t charge any buyer below the age of 21. Rather it charges penalties on retailers that sell this product to underage patrons.
The Push For Tobacco 21 Laws
A part of the Food and Drug Administration’s 2016 Deeming rule had banned the sale of vapor products to anyone under the age of 18. By deeming the tobacco-free devices and e-liquids to be tobacco products, they automatically fell under the existing federal restriction on selling tobacco products to minors.
The minimum age to purchase vapes has been a topic of significant concern among tobacco control activists, who had long portrayed the vaping market as a wild west that needs to be tamed by the FDA.
Although 48 states already implemented their age restrictions before this federal law even came into existence. Even before the Deeming Rule implemented the federal age restriction in 2016, the tobacco control groups had already aimed higher.
According to the statistics, New York had already implemented this law by 2014. Hawai became the first state to do so, followed by California later in the same year. Accordingly, by the time Congress put this federal law into effect, already 19 states and nearly about 500 cities had imposed the T-21 restrictions.
Many of the high school seniors are 18. They can legally access these vapes with the help of some sources who are already 21. However, there are high chances that they can share the products with younger students.
Proponents of increasing the legal age above 18 stated that if potential users do not socialize regularly with adults, their chances of becoming regular vape users will reduce to a certain extent. This would occur because they are not in contact with someone who is legally allowed to purchase vape.
Later on, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prevented the FDA from increasing the legal age to buy vapes.
When Congress finally passed the Tobacco- 21 rule in 2019, there was no opposition.
As we all know, limiting the age to 18-21 years would not completely vanish vape consumption among teens. Many young adults would try to find loopholes or look for a readily available nicotine product. It is estimated that this product has a high chance of being a cigarette.
It is stated that if a country increases the minimum age to vape, it will lead the youngsters to cigarettes.
The Legal Age To Buy Zero-Nicotine Products
The Deeming Rule defines e-cigarettes and e-liquid products like e-liquid vapes as tobacco products, or components or parts of tobacco products. Because one can use components and parts to modify the performance of a “finished product,” they’re also regulated as tobacco products.
As it is defined as a tobacco product, it is illegal for a retailer to sell zero-nicotine e-liquids to patrons under the age of 21.
Therefore, we can conclude that 21 years is how old you have to be to vape without nicotine.
The Minimum Age To Vape In Countries Around The World
There are certain countries that have banned vape, whereas there also exist some that do not have any strict vaping regulations. Most nations simply use the legal adult age to set the minimum age to buy or sell vapor products.
Some countries do have a national legal age. Although, individual states and provinces tend to set a higher legal age than the respective national legal age. For instance, the minimum legal age in Canada is 18 years, whereas some territories have set 19 as the legal age to buy vaping products.
In Australia, sales of nicotine-containing consumer products are illegal, but non-nicotine vapes are allowed.
The age limit for purchasing vapes varies from state to state.
In case you are traveling to another country, it is best to keep a note of the legal age to buy vape so that you do not land in any kind of trouble. Many countries and states have very firm and strict penalties when it comes to buying vapes. Hence, you must ensure that you do not break their rules and avoid any sort of legal charges.
The legal age to buy vape in Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, and Bulgaria is 18. Countries like Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, and Ecuador have also set the minimum age as 18 years.
In countries like England, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, and Moldova, people are only allowed to buy a vape legally if they have crossed the age of 18. The same law applies to countries like Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Scotland, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Tajikistan, Togo, Vietnam, and Wales
For countries like the Republic of South Korea and Turkey, 19 years is how old you have to be to buy a vape. You ought to be 20 years old to buy a vape legally in Japan. The legal age to buy a vape in Ethiopia, the United States, Palau, and Honduras is 21 years.
No one is actually aware of when adulthood starts. It varies from person to person. Therefore, the legislators are left with a vital job to do. Legislators and Regulators must carefully decide on the legal age of the majority, the age where one can vote, enter contracts, serve in the military, apply for credit, buy tobacco, alcohol, and other inappropriate products for children.
Legislators generally go for the age at which most young people have more adult traits than adolescent ones to be set as the minimum legal age.
Age is a significant factor that could help any nation to limit the inappropriate activities going on in the country. Youth is supposedly the most curious and enthusiastic population of the entire nation. The youth defines a nation.
Therefore, to keep this crowd away from any kind of delinquent activity, it is necessary to set a fixed age. The answer to how old you should be to buy a vape varies from country to country. Every legislator has a different opinion on when youth begins to portray adult traits.
Setting an age is always a compromise, but it recognizes that we grant adults the liberty to make choices for themselves, which may also involve risks at times.
The Tobacco 21 rule of the USA is considered to be an extraordinary law as it categorizes smoking as such heinous activity that involves a lot of risks. Therefore, they have taken away the choice to do it from the adults whom they allow to buy a house, drive a car, get married, go skydiving, or fight in a war.
Generally, the answer to what is the legal age to vape lies between 18 to 21 years. While the majority of the countries have legalized 18 years as the minimum age to buy a vape, many have also set the legal age as 21 years.
You must ensure that with respect to the country you live in, you must cross the minimum legal age if you wish to buy or sell vape.
This article gives you a detailed description of how old do you have to be to buy a vape.