Vaping is one of the fastest-growing trends in the US. A good chunk of adults use it to substitute traditional smoking or for aromatherapy. But, the younger demographic is jumping onto the bandwagon as a social statement. An estimated 2 million middle and high scholars admitted to vaping. We have yet to see whether it’s a fad or here to stay.
The concern is finding out the legal vaping age. With the growing number of minors vaping, the US federal government has raised the legal age limit from 18 to 21. But then again, vape laws by state aren’t standard. Beyond the federal regulations, each state has the right to carve its own vaping rules.
Age restrictions or not, how effective are these measures? They might work when minors attempt to buy vaping products from a physical shop. But making purchases online is often a whole different ball game.
So, can you buy a vape if under 18 online? It depends on the state you’re in, but it’s illegal in many parts of the US. Despite legality, these purchases do happen. So, it boils down to how strict the online store is.
Vaping Age Limits Unpacked
The US government has raised the minimum vaping age limit to 21 from 18. Upping the age limit came after escalating concerns about increased usage by minors. But as mentioned, different states have the mandate to draft their own vaping laws. And you’ll find states like Arizona are still waiting for the FDA rule changes before they can alter their current Arizona vape laws.
E-cigarettes are classified as tobacco products in some states because they contain nicotine. So, you can consider vaping a healthy alternative to smoking. But it’s thought to be detrimental to your physical health when used for prolonged periods, due to it’s nicotine content and addictive qualities.
If you’re older, you can weigh the pros and cons and make your own decision about whether to vape. But when it comes to children, it’s up to parents in conjunction with online stores and respective state laws to decide what’s best.
How Easy Is It To Buy Vape Online If You’re Under 18?
Having proper age restrictions in place when concerning vaping is well and good. But does that mean minors can’t get their hands on vaping products? Sadly, that’s not always the case, and it often depends on the online vendor and how strict their policy are for customers. Unfortunately, going the online route gives minors a bit more leeway to override the loopholes in some cases.
A survey showed how a group of underage teens who don't smoke managed to purchase vape products from certain online stores with ease. And only a handful of them were caught during the age verification process, both online and during deliveries. That's because some vendors didn't bother to check the age during delivery.
Ideally, responsible online stores are supposed to have strict age verification checks in place. But if we're being frank, it's easy to misrepresent age. The more proactive online stores don't take their customers' word for it alone. Some vendors even go as far as asking for a picture of the buyer's driver's license to verify the age. Then you have some online stores that ask for your digital signature to confirm you're of age, and even provide proof of identity for delivery.
The Way Forward
Some states allow vaping from ages 18 and up. But if you’re not in one of these regions, you must observe alternate age restrictions. That calls for parents of underage teens to take a more active role regarding monitoring their kids' “hobbies.” Online vendors must be stricter when selling their vape products through stringent age verification checks when processing and delivering orders.
The state also has a role to play in this regard. At present, some states are becoming stricter regarding the packaging of vape products. They are calling on manufacturers of vape products to include a clear label citing the dangers associated with using the product. Plus, the packaging must remind the buyer that the product is not for children. And, it helps if stores selling vaping products are licensed to operate for accountability.
With vaping being the latest craze in the US, it’s no surprise that minors, unfortunately, are keen to try it out. While it’s deemed a healthier option than smoking, it does have its drawbacks. And unfortunately it’s quite easy for those under 18 to purchase vape products online. That’s why states and the federal government impose age limits. Therefore, it calls for parents, vendors, and respective states to join forces to curb underage vaping.