The past few years have seen a sharp increase in people using vaping products in America. You can use this multi-functional device with different types of consumable products, such as Cannabis, smoking herbs, and nicotine. But, several controversial issues surround vaping products in the US. With some underage teens starting to vape, states have started enacting stricter laws, leaving many to wonder, “How old do you have to be to vape?” and “Can you buy a vape under 18 online?”.
Remember, the complexities of vaping laws vary within each state. It’s challenging to see where you stand in the eyes of the law in other regions of the US. In this regard, it helps to know the different vape laws by state.
Different states have the legal mandate to pass vaping laws as they see fit. As you may imagine, this leads to a diverse set of rules. But they all address bans, licensing, age restrictions, and product classification. States follow the same rules laid out for tobacco products to classify vapes. No matter your state, we'll summarize where different regions stand on vaping.
Vaping Bans And Licensing
Most states in the US are pro-vaping. Yet, several have imposed vaping bans in specific areas, situations, and locations. Most states outright prohibit vaping around minors or children. That includes daycare centers, juvenile homes, foster children, and children's camps.
Then you have states such as Louisiana, Iowa, Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. They do not allow vaping on school property or campus.
To uphold the integrity of its administration areas, Kentucky prohibits vaping in government buildings and vehicles. The state also doesn’t allow vaping in underground mines, veterans’ parks, health facilities, and highway rest areas.
States such as Pennsylvania, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, and Louisiana require stores selling vape to have a valid license or permit. Nebraska and Massachusetts have banned the use of vaping products in all areas where smoking is prohibited. These places include restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, and other indoor workplaces.
You'll also find very authoritarian states that enforce outright bans when it comes to purchasing vaping products. Hawaii is one such state that requires buyers of vaping supplies to submit their identification documentation during purchasing and delivery.
For the longest time, the vaping age limit was set at eighteen by the US federal government. It was not until 2019 that the US government raised the age to twenty-one following an increase in vaping-related health concerns. Even so, different states have yet to amend their respective laws regarding age limits. As it stands, other states impose varying age restrictions in their jurisdictions.
Of the fifty-one states, approximately thirty-six still have the cut-off age of eighteen. These include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, and North Carolina.
Then you have states like Alabama, Utah, and Alaska, which have nineteen as the age limit. Although Alaska imposes this age limit, it still allows vaping to younger individuals for medical reasons.
A handful of states share the US government sentiment and now impose the age limit of twenty-one years. These include Virginia, South Dakota, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and California. Some states don't specify age limits at all. These include Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, with Maryland only prohibiting vaping for minors.
Tobacco Products Or Not?
Before, we mentioned how some states prefer to treat vaping products as tobacco products. In this case, general smoking laws dictate the laws surrounding vaping. Sixteen of the fifty-one states consider vapes as tobacco products. These include California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The rest of the states don't classify vaping products as tobacco products.
Most US states allow vaping, but only within strict legal confines. The different state laws dictate where you can and can’t vape. These laws also highlight the various age limits and if they consider vaping as a tobacco product. Over and above that, some vaping regulations touch on licensing, packaging, taxation, and age verification. Whatever the case, it pays to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of vaping laws in your respective state. The idea is to enjoy your favorite activity while on the right side of the law.