Legal Age to Vape - What’s the deal?
If you’ve recently thought: ‘I don’t actually know what the legal age to vape is’, don’t worry. Vaping is a relatively new pastime that has increased in popularity throughout the years.
As is to be expected, this new demand came with the introduction of government rules and regulations. Is there a legal age to vape? What is this and how does this compare to other countries around the world? We’ll be answering all these questions and more below.
If you’re a vape enthusiast (and above the legal age), feel free to Juicemate’s top-of-the-range selection of E-Cigarettes, E Juice, disposables and accessories to satisfy all your vaping needs.
Is there a legal age to buy vapes in the UK?
Yes, you must be 18 years of age to buy vapes in the UK. This law was added as an extension of the UK’s tobacco laws and makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase E-Cigarettes, E-Liquids or disposable vapes.
Why is there a legal age to buy vapes?
This is primarily to protect young people from developing an addiction to nicotine. E-Cigarettes and vapes are often used by those who want to gradually reduce their nicotine consumption over time.
Vaping products, such as the ones in our Innokin T18E Vape Starter Kit, can be fitted with a variety of E-Liquids that offer a range of nicotine strengths. This means that vape users can wean themselves off nicotine while reducing the side effects of withdrawal.
Setting the legal age to vape at 18 protects young people from the risks of nicotine addiction while allowing them time to mature. Vaping is a hobby for many and can stem from an interest in vaping products and E-liquid flavours.
As is the case with purchasing alcohol or nicotine, young adults can choose to engage with this once they are of legal age. But until then, retailers like us here at Juicemate must ensure that our products are only available to those over 18.
Young people are not just beholden to this law in vape stores but online too. Before visiting sites that sell tobacco products, the user will be asked to confirm they are 18 or over. Third-party verification may also be required by some retailers, to ensure their customers are above the legal age.
What is the legal age to buy vapes around the world?
In the UK, the legal age to buy vapes is set at 18 years old. However, this varies from country to country. The age a child becomes an adult is a culturally distinct part of society, which results in numerous different laws.
In most parts of Europe, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria etc., the legal age you can vape is the same as in the UK: 18 years old. Most countries in Europe use this age as the baseline for vaping because it is considered an addition to tobacco laws.
However, this is not the same for all European countries. Turkey, for example, has some of the strictest laws on vaping in Europe and has banned the sale of E-Cigarettes and vapes altogether. They are also outright banned in Belgium, Mexico and Thailand.
Vapes are also considered illegal in Brazil, but the legal age to purchase and consume traditional tobacco products is 18. Recently, in 2021, Australia changes their laws on vaping, prohibiting over-the-counter purchases of E-Cigarettes and vapes.
Instead, Australian citizens can now only access these products through a doctor's prescription. This is to push smokers away from consuming products with stronger nicotine content and towards adjustable E-Cigarettes.
In both China and Japan, there is no age restriction on the purchase of vape products. However, in China, you must be aged 18 to buy and sell E-Cigarettes and E-Liquids. In Japan, you may buy a vape at any but can only purchase E-Liquids at the age of 20.
Korean citizens can buy vapes at 19, as well as traditional tobacco products. The highest age on our list comes from America, where you must be 21 to consume or purchase E-Cigarettes.
Have vaping laws changed over time?
The UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016 and officially departed at the end of January 2020. This meant that the UK was no longer beholden to the European Union’s regulations on tobacco and nicotine products.
However, the UK has continued to adhere to their standards, keeping the legal age to vape at 18. There have been some adjustments in the form of the following requirements:
- banning certain ingredients from vapes (caffeine and taurine, for example)
- including different packaging and labellings on tobacco products
- requiring nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident