Did you know in 2019, approximately more than 5 million middle and high schoolers used a vape, e-cigarettes, or other smoking methods? The addition of vaping has introduced a new generation of kids to smoking nicotine through the disguise of a cool and trendy dispenser. With vaping getting more popular, the government has stepped in to raise the legal age.
Now, you may be wondering, with this new law, “What is the legal age to vape?”
Don’t worry, with this guide you can find out! From understanding the legal age of vaping to why it increased, you can determine if you can legally vape.
Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at vaping:
What Is the Legal Age to Vape in the US?
In 2019, congress passed the tobacco 21 law, stating that you must be at least 21 to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products, including vapes and vaping supplies. This new law, signed by President Trump, took effect immediately in December 2019. It required every state to declare the age requirements via signage and verbal notice in a retail establishment.
However, unlike other age laws, tobacco 21 does not enforce charges for underage possession. Instead, the law holds the retailers responsible. So, for example, if a person under the age of 21 were to be caught with tobacco, the retailer would be charged. The law, therefore, places the responsibility solely on the retailer since they should vet the identification of every person, not just those that they feel need to be vetted.
Why Did Legal Age to Vape Increase?
In the US, the legal age to vape before it was changed was 18. Then high school students could legally smoke and influence other students to smoke. It increased the demand for smoke flavors and small easy to conceal vape pens.
Soon the US saw a rise in teen smokers who knew little to nothing about what they were putting in their bodies. To protect teenagers from the dangers of nicotine addiction, congress wanted to make sure high-school students couldn’t legally purchase vape products.
They chose the age of 21 since most high school students don’t socialize with an adult that old. They also wanted to increase the age to give students time to mature and think about their decision rather than rushing into it because it’s the trendy thing to do.
Thereby increasing the age makes it harder for teenagers to start smoking. Here’s why: since it limits students’ interaction with vaping, it further decreases the chances students will smoke and develop an addiction during adolescence.
The Legal Age to Vape Around the World
Apart from the countries that have banned vaping, and those that simply have no restrictions at all, most countries use the legal age as a way to distinguish who can purchase nicotine products like cigarettes and vaping products.
Some countries have a national legal age that’s enforced in every state; however, some countries allow states or provinces to increase the legal age as they see fit. For example, in Canada, the national legal age is 18; however, you have to be 19 to purchase cigarettes and vaping products in some provinces.
In Australia, you can’t even purchase vaping products without a prescription from a doctor. Although you can buy non-nicotine cigarettes but the age requirements vary between states.
However, a majority of the country’s legal age for tobacco products is 18. A few agree that it should be 19. Although only Japan has the legal age of 20, while a handful of countries now, including the United States, agree the legal age should be 21 and above.
What Does the “Legal Age” Mean?
The legal age is usually defined when adolescence ends, and adulthood begins. The problem is no one person can pinpoint that exact time. Science has shown a change in thinking and body chemistry around the age of 21; however, that’s not true for everyone. The shift between adolescence and adulthood is, in fact, different for everybody.
So legislatures must try to choose a legal age that’s right for the majority—an age where people can drink alcohol, go to a casino, and, yes, use tobacco. The age should be one where a person has more adult traits than adolescent ones.
However, the age will always be in contention. Since it serves as a reminder that adults are given so many more choices that involve risk. Take tobacco 21, for example; it judged nicotine in any form to be too risky that young adults shouldn’t consume it. Keep in mind the law allows young adults to make decisions about driving, getting married, and even skydiving; however, nicotine is too dangerous.
While other countries haven’t come to the same conclusion, the argument over the legal age will always remain.
Are You Legally Allowed to Purchase a Vape?
Vaping has sparked mainstream popularity, but that doesn’t mean you should jump on the bandwagon. Consider your state and federal laws about vaping before purchasing a vape.
If you’re aged 21 or above, keep this in mind, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If you have addictive personality traits or don’t quite understand the ingredients in a vape pod, think about the consequences it may have before purchasing it. Just because it’s a trendy activity doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you and your health.
Now, for more information about how old you have to be to work, contact us today. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.