If you wish to buy e-cigarettes, it’s important to be aware of the ever-changing regulations on both a state and federal level that determine the legality of purchasing nicotine products. Since the development of the vaping industry, legislators have been trying to find ways to regulate sales of the products to, primarily, keep e-liquids and other vaping goods out of the hands of minors.
The Legal Age to Buy Zero-Nicotine Products
If you wish to visit a vape shop to purchase nicotine-free e-liquids, you will be pleased to know that there is no age requirement. Age restrictions on vaping products only apply to those that contain nicotine, as nicotine-containing products are classified as tobacco products according to state law and are therefore subjected to the same regulations that apply to tobacco goods.
Zero-nicotine products can be lawfully sold to anyone over the age of 18 years old throughout the United States and other major countries like Canada and parts of Europe such as in France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, England, etc. The same also applies to anyone who wants to buy a vape mod. There are no age restrictions on vaping hardware, again only applying to products that contain nicotine.
In Which States Do You Have to Be 21 to Vape?
A new federal law went into effect that determined that you must be at least 21 years of age to purchase vaping products and traditional tobacco products. It is important to point out that the law clearly states that an underage person in possession of a product containing nicotine is not at risk of legal penalty, and a minor cannot be arrested for attempting to buy one of these products in a store. The only person who will be penalized is the one who sells the product to a person under 21.
This means that technically, no one in the United States can purchase tobacco products unless they are at least 21 years of age. As a formality, each state needs to pass its state law validating this increase, and some have taken their time. However, the FDA can override state law in this instance, penalizing businesses selling vaping products to those under 21.
The Legal Age to Buy Vapes in the US
The law that went into effect is known as Tobacco 21 and has been a major initiative to raise the age of using nicotine products to 21 across the country. Therefore, officially, you must be at least 21 to buy vapes in the United States.
Can I Buy Vapes Online at 18?
In the United States, you cannot legally buy vapes online at the age of 18. The Tobacco 21 initiative has prohibited sales of nicotine products to those under 21, and this initiative is regulated by the FDA.
Going back to earlier though. nicotine content does not matter when it comes to the legal age for vaping. The legal age varies here in the USA, from 18 to 19, to even 21 years old. That alone is why it is best to still check what the requirement is in your state. This can easily be found by calling a local vape shop and asking them.
However, some countries still maintain a different age limit. For instance, Canada’s age requirement is still 18, and this applies to those who wish to buy vaping goods or buy cigarettes online or in stores. Other countries that maintain an age limit of 18 include Italy, New Zealand, China, Japan, and the majority of Australia even.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Nicotine Gum?
One exception to the laws above is nicotine gum. Nicotine gum is not classified as a tobacco product, in the United States or other major countries like Canada and European countries. What this means is that you do not have to be of a certain age to legally purchase a nicotine gum product. Nicotine gums are sold over the counter in these countries, and these products simply have a warning that those under 18 should not use them.
While these restrictions were made to protect against potential harm to youth, they are at odds with adolescent attempts to obtain these products as an aid to smoking cessation.