Vaping Age Restrictions in the UK and Worldwide

Vaping Age Restrictions in the UK and Worldwide

Depending on where you are from, the age to vape differs.

5 September 2022 | Hannah Rubery

Vaping Age Restrictions in the UK and Worldwide (Image)

Vaping devices are used across the globe but with each country the regulations differ. Some have tighter regulations than others, some stipulate limiting regulations such as flavour bans, but one thing is universal. Age restrictions can be seen around the world and are ever present on the packaging and vape products on shelves. But the age to vape does differ dependant on your country. Let’s look at some of the most popular countries and their age restrictions on vaping.

How old do you need to be to vape in the UK?

In the UK, you must be 18 years old or above to use and purchase vaping products. This also includes vaping products that are 0mg/nicotine free. Retailers found to be selling vaping products to those, underage, can face harsh fines. It is illegal to vape under the age of 18, much like smoking which is restricted to those 18 or above.

Age restrictions across the globe for vaping

• USA – 21+
• CANADA – 18+ or 19+ (varies between provinces)
• EU – 18+
• AUSTRALIA – 18+ (but only with a GP prescription)
• BRAZIL – 18+
• CHINA – 18+
• JAPAN – 20+

It’s important to keep these age restrictions in mind not only for those who are citizens of these countries, but for those who are travelling to them. For example, a UK citizen can legally vape in the UK at the age of 18 and above, however if they travelled to the USA, they would not be legally able to purchase E-Liquids unless over the age of 21.

It is also important to remember that vaping is not legal in every country, so for those who do travel, it is wise to double-check beforehand. You can read our article for more information about travelling with vapes.

Why are there age restrictions for vaping if its less harmful?

Vaping is widely recognised as being much less harmful than cigarette smoking. It doesn’t produce tar or carbon monoxide, or the thousands of harmful carcinogens linked with cancers and other health issues.

However, it is not completely risk free, it just carries much less risk than tobacco cigarettes. It is for this reason that vaping is not suggested for those who do not smoke or have never smoked before. Even though the harm is much less, there is more harm involved for those who have never smoked before.

Who is vaping for?

In this respect, this is one of the reasons why vaping has an age restriction. Because, in the UK, you must be 18 and over to smoke, it only makes sense that it be the same for vaping. It’s also understood that at the age of 18 you are more likely to understand the potentially harms of these products and make an informed choice. While vaping is much less harmful than smoking, vaping does still carry some harm and due to the nicotine many vaping products contain, it can be addictive for many.

This is why vaping is touted as a smoking cessation tool with noted success higher than that of traditional NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapy). Vaping products should not be used by those who have never smoked.