How old do You have to be in order to use a Vaporizer?
The rules are pretty clear when it comes to smoking. In all parts of the world, the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products is prohibited for individuals under the age of 18 (in some places, the minimal age is 21). How about products for vaping? Are these available for the younger crowd?
Are There Rules and Regulations?
Let’s look at US regulations. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized the creation of a regulatory framework aimed at extending rules about tobacco products to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
These new regulations will affect the use of vape pens, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, electronic pipes and other forms of ENDS that are bound to appear on the market in the years to come. Upon the acceptance of this extension, the use of such devices will become illegal for individuals under the age of 18.
The regulations will entail something else, as well. Starting in 2018, ENDS packages will have to include a warning label about the dangers of nicotine.
This information means that rules and regulations about the sale and the distribution of vaporizers haven’t been introduced yet on a national level. Some state rules exist but these are solely local. As a result, the sale of vaporizers and e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18 is entirely under the discretion of shop owners in many parts of the US. Most often, the sellers in such shops will demand IDs from customers and they will refrain from selling vaporizers and e-cigarettes to individuals who aren’t 18 yet.
The situation is similar in other countries. The European Union doesn’t have a regulatory framework yet but restrictions are available in some of the member states. In Belgium, the sale of ENDS and tobacco products is illegal for individuals under the age of 16. In Croatia, vaping products are classified as tobacco products and the same rules apply to them. The situation is similar in countries like the Czech Republic, France and Germany.
In some countries like Finland, nicotine cartridges and ENDS are classified as medicinal products. Their sale is very restricted and it’s impossible for minors to obtain vaporizers and other types of ENDS products.
Is Vaping Safe for Minors?
Vaping is a relatively new concept and researchers are still working on identifying all of its effects – both the positive and the negative ones.
One thing to be understood about vaporizers and e-cigarettes is that the liquid they work with could have a specific level of nicotine. Some of the cartridges and the e-liquids are completely nicotine –free. When it comes to assessing the safety and the health risks, it’s important to distinguish between the available products.
Obviously, vaping isn’t considered safe for minors. After all, nicotine is a drug that has a highly addictive nature. Anyone who wants to try a vaporizer or an electronic cigarette should wait at least until the age of 18. There is some evidence that vaping could have a negative impact on lung health, which is why it’s not a good idea for young individuals.
Tips and Suggestions for Parents
While teens will typically find it difficult to buy vaporizers and other electronic products that act as a nicotine distribution system, it’s not impossible. What should you do if you suspect that your child is using a vaporizer?
Having an honest discussion about vaping and what it entails is the first step.
Scientific evidence does prove that vaping is dramatically less dangerous than the use of cigarettes. The number of carcinogens found in cigarettes is 79. Obviously, these carcinogens aren’t presented in the electronic liquid. While vaping isn’t safe for young people, it doesn’t come with the same imminent level of risk as tobacco use.
Some parents worry that e-cigarettes and vaporizers could be used as “gateway drugs” that would lead to the smoking of real cigarettes. Luckily, this hasn’t happened so far. Smoking is on the decline among young people, regardless of the fact that vaporizers are seen as cool by some teens.
Don’t try to scare an underage person into quitting vaping. Putting tons of emphasis on the negative health effects is likely to achieve the opposite effect of what you’re trying to do. Besides, such tactics aren’t justified – as already mentioned, the health risks with vaping are limited.
Instead, talk to your teenager and try to figure out whether they’d like to quit. If this is the case, you can provide the necessary guidance and parental support. A proactive approach based on positive reinforcement is the one that can deliver the best possible results.