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How Old Do You Have To Be To Vape

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  • Admin
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  • laws, age restrictions
  • Posted date:
  • 12-07-2021
How Old Do You Have To Be To Vape

How old do you have to be to vape in the UK? We look at the legal age to buy e-cigarettes in UK vape shops. And why is it important to enforce age restrictions?

What Is The Legal Age to Buy Vape Products in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, it is strictly prohibited to sell vaping products, including nicotine-based e-liquid, nic salts, e-cigs, vape pens, and vape pods. 

It is also the same law that applies to cigarettes and alcohol. It is illegal for an adult to purchase any vaping products for someone under the legal age limit. Likewise, if you are a retailer and flaunt the rules by selling vape products and e-cigarettes and vape products to those under the age of 18 years, you can expect to be fined up to £2,500.

On a plus note, if you are a smoker aged 18 years and over, vaping is a far less harmful alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products and cigarettes.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Vape? Manchester

Is Underage Vaping in the UK a Problem?

It would look like the United Kingdom does not have a problem with underage vaping; however, when you do some research and look at the details, there are areas of the country where underage vaping is a much bigger problem than in other areas.  

There is research available that shows an estimate that 5% of 11 to 18-year-olds vape in England. Yet if you take a look at NHS figures, there is quite a stark North-South divide. 

A recent survey compiled of 13,000 children, a fifth of 15-year-old kids in Humber and Yorkshire, has started vaping, and almost 10% of these children admitted to vaping once a week. These figures were compared to London, and in the South, less than 3% of children have started regularly vaping.


If you are under the legal age to vape or purchase vaping products and try to open an online account with a supplier, the website will do some checks because the UK law clearly states it is illegal to sell e-liquids and cigarettes to anyone under 18 years old. The supplier or owner of the business will complete an age verification check, so they will ask for your date of birth. They will then use a credit reference agency to verify the age you have entered against any registered details about you. This is quite simply to make sure that they are not selling nicotine products to underage children.

In 2015, the UK government updated its laws regarding the sale of tobacco and cigarette products to include e-liquids.

The law states:

It is illegal to purchase e-liquids that contain nicotine as an adult for anybody under the legal vaping age of 18 years.

It is illegal to sell any e-liquids that contain nicotine to anyone under the age of 18 years, either online or in-store. 

Any retailer that breaks the law can be fined up to a maximum of £2,500.


Vaping sales in the United States are prohibited for under 21-year-olds or under 18-year-olds. This is dependent on the state they live in. For example, in Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Maine and Oregon, the legal age to purchase vape products is 21 years of age. In all the other 42 states, you have to be over 18 years of age.

If you live in Australia, the sales of liquid nicotine are banned because it is classified as a poison. 

In Canada, sales of vaping products and e-liquids are banned to anyone under 19 years of age. 

However, Europe is rather hit and miss in most European countries, including Spain, France and Sweden. The legal age to purchase e-liquids is 18 years of age, the same as the United Kingdom.

Vaping is currently illegal in Mexico, Belgium, Thailand, Turkey and some Middle Eastern and South American countries.

what do adults need to know about vaping - Manchester

What Do Adults Need to Know?

In the United Kingdom, the law states you become an adult at the age of 18 years.

When you become an adult, if you decide to start vaping, you can buy the vaping equipment yourself and do this without being challenged.  In October of 2015, the government passed the law to make it a criminal offence to purchase vaping equipment and products for anyone under the age of 18 years.

It is highly recommended that if you vape, it is kept to a minimum whenever you are around an underaged person.

Anyone who works within the transport industry is not permitted to vape whenever they are in the presence of an underage person whilst they are working. 

It is also against the law for retailers and online sites to sell vaping equipment and products to anyone under the age of 18 years. If retailers are found to have broken the law, they can be heftily fined up to £2,500.

If you want to find the best advice for e-cigarettes then contact our vape shop in Manchester. We offer a wide selection of electronic cigarettes and vape juice flavours. Find out more about our vape shop in Manchester.