Is it Illegal to Vape?
The question of whether or not it’s illegal to vape is a loaded one. The short answer is that it depends on the country, the state, the location, and the age of the person doing the vaping. We will briefly cover each of these subsections to help readers gain a clearer picture on where it is safe to vape.
Depending on where you live, or where you plan to visit, vaping could be fully welcomed or land you in prison for two years! While vaping in the U.S. is recognized as somewhat acceptable behavior, places like Hong Kong, India, and Brazil treat it as a poison with attached prison sentences and/or stiff fines. Other countries, such as Japan have banned the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine, while non-nicotine devices are currently still legal to use. Other countries, such as New Zealand and Switzerland, may permit nicotine e-cigarettes for personal use but have outlawed their sale, which means users must import the goods. Several countries in Europe, as well as Canada and some U.S. states, prohibit e-cigarettes wherever traditional cigarettes are banned regardless of nicotine content. Before planning a trip abroad, it’s best to check the local laws before traveling with your vaporizer.
Different states have adopted different policies when it comes to vaping in public. While it’s illegal to vape on school grounds no matter what state you are in, some will allow vaping in bars and restaurants while others do not. Since the FDA has regulated e-cigarettes to be treated as tobacco products, you will typically find that wherever cigarettes are banned, so are e-cigarettes.
Most states haven’t issued blanket bans on these devices, but localities within those states may have. You may even find that while you can’t use an e-cigarette in a bar in one town, you can in the next town over depending on where you are located. Only Nevada, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island have state-wide open policies in regard to e-cigarettes, where not even specific locations can ban them in places where traditional cigarettes aren’t banned. Oregon, California, Utah, North Dakota, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut have state-wide blanket bans on the use of e-cigarettes in public places where cigarettes are also banned. All other states are on a city-to-city basis.
All states regulate the sale of e-cigarettes to some extent, mostly by the age of the buyer. Some states prohibit the sale or distribution of e-cigarette or other vaporizer products to minors (anyone under the age of 18), while others it’s 19, and even some have the age limit set to 21. Some states do allow minors to use tobacco products with the blessing of their parents, while others make it illegal for minors to use it no matter what. Some states even have different laws depending on the area of the state, while others make exceptions for active members of the military or Native American rituals. If you are planning on using e-cigarettes before age 21, it’s best to look up your local laws before doing so and remember never to sell to or supply a minor with tobacco products, including just the devices themselves.