How Old Do You Have to Be to Vape?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Vape?

Most places in the United States don’t treat underage vaping as a crime. So asking “How old do you have to be to vape?” isn’t really the right question. Think more along the lines of, “Do you have to be 18 to buy a vape?” or “What’s the legal age to buy a vape?”

The laws typically make sales to minors illegal, but not the act of vaping itself. When vaping or possession of vapes by minors is illegal, it’s not usually treated very seriously — often as a civil infraction, like a traffic ticket. In most states (and around the world too), the legal vaping age is the same as the smoking age. But the consequences for a minor vaping are mostly borne by the person who sold them the products they’re using — not the kids using them. Vaping under 18 may be a no-no, but vapers rarely get locked up or heavily fined for it.

Federal law on vaping age restriction

When the FDA’s deeming regulations took effect on August 8, 2016, the minimum age of 18 to purchase vaping products became federal law.

And that was a big selling point of the regulations. All of the tobacco control organizations played up the new national age restriction, as though the vaping industry was such a “wild west” that shops and online retailers were selling to kids on a regular basis.

But before the deeming rule made 18 the national minimum age to vape, 48 states already had age restrictions in place. Only Michigan and Pennsylvania didn’t have a ban on sales to minors.

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