How Old Do You Have To be To Vape? (Restrictions & Risks) – Cyclone Pods

How Old Do You Have To be To Vape? (Restrictions & Risks)

There’s a lot of confusion on the legal age for vaping in the US, with different figures popping up for different states.

So how old do you have to be to vape legally in the US?

In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration set the minimum age to vape at 21 years.

This age restriction was implemented due to concerns about the growing use of tobacco products, smoking, and vaping among teens and the associated health risks and side effects.

If you're a young person below the minimum age, risking a puff could have you face penalties. However, retailers distributing a vapor product to minors may face legal repercussions.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the legal minimum age for vaping in the US. And if you're above 21 years old - we'll introduce you to non-addictive, nicotine-free vapes for a safe experience (from Cyclone Pods).

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Vape?

As we discussed above, the legal age to vape in the US is 21.

On December 20th, 2019, President Trump signed legislation amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, raising the federal minimum age for selling or using a tobacco product from 18 to 21.

Also known as the “Tobacco 21” (or T21) legislation, this new law came into effect immediately.

The T21 legislation prohibits retailers from selling any tobacco or vapor product to anyone under 21. These products include (but are not limited to) a smokeless tobacco product, electronic cigar, vape pen, and alternative nicotine product.

Although this federal law specifically mentions tobacco cigarettes and other tobacco products, it also extends to vape laws. This is because, as of 2023, vapes and electronic cigarette devices are classified as tobacco products in the USA.

According to the FDA, this new federal minimum age of sale applies to all retail establishments and persons across the US without exception. These vape laws are enforced in all states of the US and override any age limit (under 21) previously set by a state.

You may be wondering — what are the penalties for underage vaping?

Let’s find out.

Legal Repercussions for Unlawful Vaping & Distribution in the US

In the USA, selling a tobacco product (like tobacco cigarettes and vapes) to persons under the legal minimum age limit is a criminal offense — and directly violates federal law. This will result in legal action if you're caught.

A minor, on the other hand, could face penalties if caught buying or using vaping products.

Did you know? Over 80% of adults who still smoke started before they turned 18, and nearly 95% started before age 21 (legal vaping age.)

  • Unlawful vaping: If you’re caught in possession of a vape device (as a minor) or in the act of underage vaping, you can face a fine of $50 and attend mandatory education classes on the health risk of vaping.

    You may also be required to complete community service. And in case you didn’t know, falsely representing your age as above 21 years is also a punishable offense.

  • Unlawful sale/distribution by a tobacco retailer: Tobacco sales of nicotine products (including vapes) to minors will result in a $100 fine for the first offense. Penalties for a second offense are $500, and $2500 for a third offense.

    In some cases, offending retailers may also face jail time and/or revocation of their business license to sell tobacco products.

Note: Vaping cannabis products is largely illegal in many states. Cannabis products have different laws and regulations than tobacco sales and products.

While this age restriction may seem harsh, it was implemented for a good reason. There are many harmful health effects caused by electronic cigarette and tobacco use, which are more severe for minors below the legal vaping age.

Why is Vaping Age Restricted in the US? (Health Risks & Side Effects)

There’s no denying that vaping and e cigarette use is a much safer alternative to smoking a cigarette — but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely risk-free. Nicotine vaping is known to cause many public health risks and side effects, which can be more severe if you’re a young person.

Here are the common risks and side effects of nicotine vaping:

1. Hampers Brain Development in Teens

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nicotine in vape devices can affect brain development in teens and young adults — and can cause long-term changes.

Did you know? The human brain keeps developing till the age of 25.

Nicotine product use during these developing years can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, impulse control, learning, and mood.

2. Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant found in most vape devices and vape juice products. It’s known to form dependency quickly, leading to cravings and withdrawal over time.

Nicotine addiction often leads to compulsive use disorders, potentially causing mental health problems like anxiety later on.

3. Asthma and Lung Scarring

E cigarette use drastically increases the risk of developing asthma and other lung conditions. Additionally, using a vaping device may worsen any pre-existing asthma or lung conditions further.

But that’s not the worst part.

Some low-quality vaping products contain harmful chemicals like diacetyl and formaldehyde. Diacetyl is the chemical in some flavorings agents which can cause bronchiolitis obliterans (aka “popcorn lung”), resulting in permanent lung scarring.

4. Secondhand Exposure

Although vapes don’t produce smoke, the vapor released can affect others around the vaper, especially indoors. Bystanders exposed to secondhand smoke from a vape may be at risk of experiencing the same side effects of vaping as the vaper.

This is more severe for high-risk groups such as young children, the elderly, and persons with pre-existing lung conditions.

5. Increased Risk of Cancer Development

Research shows that nicotine has very little ability to initiate cancer growth. However, a recent study from the National Library of Medicine suggests that the nicotine in vapor can promote the growth of cancer cells in the body.

6. EVALI (E Cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury)

EVALI is a severe lung condition caused by vaping a chemical called vitamin E acetate — an ingredient in many low-quality vaping device products.

According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), EVALI is known to cause health issues such as:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Weight loss

Did you know? According to the National Library of Medicine, electronic cigarettes are estimated to be 95% safer than smoking a regular cigarette. This is because traditional cigarettes contain around 7000 chemicals, while electronic cigarettes only contain around 2000.

7. Other Side Effects of Vaping

Using a nicotine product (like vape juice) can also cause several other side effects, such as:

  • Coughing
  • Increases in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Narrowing of your arteries
  • Shortness of breath
  • Eye irritation
  • Headache & Nausea
  • Dry and irritated mouth and throat

Did you know? According to the American Lung Association, some low-quality vape pen products contain the chemical “acrolein” — a herbicide used to kill weeds.

As you can see, many of the health risks and side effects of vaping are directly linked to nicotine use.

Luckily, companies like Cyclone Pods allow us to enjoy the pleasures of vaping without unnecessary exposure to nicotine and other harmful chemicals!

Nicotine-Free Vaping: A Safer Alternative

Although nicotine-free vaping products contain no nicotine or tobacco, they are still classified as tobacco products in the US. This means the legal minimum age of 21 also applies to nicotine-free products.

But here’s the good news!

If you’re over 21 and looking to buy high-quality vaping devices free from harmful chemicals like nicotine — look no further than Cyclone Pods!

Cyclone Pods is a US-based vape company that provides a world-class vape product range that is free from harmful chemicals like:

  • Nicotine
  • Diacetyl
  • Vitamin e-acetate
  • Formaldehyde

Looking to test out nicotine-free vaping devices for yourself?
Try the Gust Super from Cyclone Pods. It packs in over 5000 puffs and comes in 11 delicious flavors, including:

  • Mint
  • Mango
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

Or, if you prefer a longer-lasting vape with refillable pods, try the Thunder Device from Cyclone Pods instead.

Vape Responsibly With Cyclone Pods

While the T21 legislation may have dampened the days of many teen vapers, rest assured that it was implemented with your best interests at heart.

The nicotine found in vapes can have devastating and long-lasting effects on young adults’ brain development. Regardless of age, let’s not forget the severe health risk associated with its use.

Luckily, for those above the legal minimum age for vaping, there are still ways to enjoy all the best aspects of vaping without the unnecessary risks.

All you need to do is go to Cyclone Pods and explore their wide range of nicotine-free vaping products!

What are you waiting for?

Take control back from nicotine dependency and raise your quality of life and vaping experience with a high-quality vape product today.

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