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Navigating and Understanding Legal Vape Protocols

Vaping has become popular in recent years as an alternative to combustible cigarettes, with an ever-growing community of disposable vape enthusiasts. Yet, regarding legal vape products, different states have varying regulations. Anyone involved in the category–from manufacturers to distributors, retailers to end consumers–must stay informed about their area’s legal age for vaping, regulations, and restrictions. What follows is an exploration of vaping laws across different states, shedding light on the legal age to vape, addressing the issue of vaping indoors, and emphasizing the important role of vaping regulations.

Vaping Laws Across States

​The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been the main authority over vaping regulations since the emergence of e-cigarettes in the early 2000s. On a local level, different states have taken varying approaches to regulating vaping products and their usage. Some states have embraced vaping as a harm-reduction tool. Others implemented strict regulations due to concerns about youth access and health effects.

As of December 2019, the federal government raised the minimum age to sell tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21, making the so-called “T21” rule the law in all states. States with flavor bans include Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Cities with flavor bans include Chicago; Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; Sacramento, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; San Jose, Calif; and Boulder, Colo. San Francisco banned the sale of all e-cigarettes in 2020.

Another important part of the legal vape protocols is where vaping can be done. The legality of vaping inside varies from state to state and even among local municipalities. Vaping is treated similarly to smoking in some states and is forbidden in enclosed public spaces, workplaces, and certain outdoor areas.

While various websites allow the sales of vape products online, more often than not, they offer illegal products or those whose PMTAs still need to be given marketing-granted orders. Retail locations may only sell selected vape products to adults of vaping legal age from 21 and above, and they should have screening procedures, such as asking for IDs, in place.

Where in the United States Can You Buy Vape at 21?

While vaping laws vary across states, most states’ minimum age to purchase vape products is 21. These include 42 states in the United States. The other states, however, have set the minimum age at 18 or 19, their legal age for vaping.

In addition to the minimum age requirements, each state has other laws and regulations. These can include vaping restrictions in certain public places and advertising and marketing practices limitations. Some states may also have specific labeling requirements for vape products or restrictions on selling flavored e-liquids.

Legitimately Marketed Tobacco Products

The FDA regulates tobacco products based on standards. To sell legal vape products in the U.S., the FDA must issue a written marketing order to the company. Vape companies may receive marketing authorization through one of three pathways: receiving marketing-granted orders under the PMTA, substantial equivalence reports, and exemption from substantial equivalence.

To date, the FDA has issued marketing authorization for 45 products, including 23 tobacco-flavored electronic cigarette products.

Advocacy for Responsible Vaping Regulations

Appropriate advocacy ensures balanced and effective legal vape protocols as the landscape evolves. Individuals, consumer groups, and businesses in the vaping industry can help shape these policies by engaging legislators. Fair and realistic vaping regulations can be created by lobbying for evidence-based rules emphasizing public health and specifically accommodating individuals of legal age to buy a vape.

Staying informed about these legal vape processes and advocating for responsible vaping regulations is vital for adult vapers and the broader community. By working together, stakeholders can ensure that vaping remains a viable harm-reduction option while minimizing potential risks, especially regarding youth access and product appeal.

To better understand the current status and regulation among legitimate vape products in the market, stream Bidi Vapor’s webcast today.

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