Vaping has become very popular in recent years, more so than smoking cigarettes. For the younger generations, they're discovering vape products as a healthier alternative to cigarettes. It's also one of the most common and successful alternatives for quitting the habit of smoking for good. However, what causes problems within the vaping community is a group of curious teenagers who are not yet of the legal age to start vaping.
How old do you have to be to vape in the US? This guide will share all of the useful information on vaping in the US and specifically within California.
What is the legal vaping age in California?
The legal vaping age in California is 21 years old. This is the same as the US's legal age for alcohol consumption.
Congress passed a federal Tobacco 21 law in December 2019. The purpose of this federal law was due to the increased pressure being faced by concerned parents of underage vapers and tobacco control groups.
The bill also adds a line referring to any retailers selling tobacco products to a person younger than 21 years of age as 'unlawful'. That's why you'll find all legitimate sites online that sell vape or tobacco products will require your age and to show proof of ID when signing for the delivery.
The CASAA states any electronic cigarette cartridges and solutions for filling electronic cigarettes should be sold in child-resistant packaging.
The risk of being caught out for selling to individuals under the age of 21 could lose any licenses or ability to sell vape products, as well as fines and possibly even arrest. For a lot of businesses that exist online, it's important that they avoid selling to any customers who are under the legal age in California.
California's vaping laws and regulations
California law is particularly strict regarding vaping laws and regulations. For example, they recently brought in the flavor ban on tobacco products and flavored products, which include vapes being sold in-store and through vending machines.
While it's not illegal to sell online to Californian residents, there are some places in California that have even prohibited online sales and banned the distribution of them through U.S. mail.
California as a state imposes strict laws and regulations regarding vape and tobacco products. Any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption is considered as a tobacco product. This includes electronic cigarettes too.
The state prohibits the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes to persons under the age of 21. Any active duty military personnel must be at least 18. Any self-service displays of electronic cigarettes are prohibited too.
This law, however, doesn't stop California residents from traveling outside of California and making a purchase elsewhere. Californians still have to comply with the legal age of vaping though, even if they're able to buy elsewhere in the US and beyond.
What are the underage vaping penalties in California?
There are penalties for anyone who goes against the vaping laws in California. According to the California Penal Code - Section 308, the law states that anyone knowingly selling tobacco or vape products to those under the legal age, faces a fine.
These fines are $200 for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1,000 for the third offense.
Any person under the age of 18, who chooses to buy tobacco products or vape products illegally will face fines themselves. Albeit, these fines are $75 or 30 hours of community service work.
As an illegal offense, the penalties taken against those distributing or selling these products to minors may result in further action being taken. This includes the removal of licenses and potentially legal action in the form of jail time for extreme cases.
It's not worth taking the risk of buying tobacco products or e-cigarettes underage when living in California. It's best to wait until you're 21 and then buy electronic cigarette products online if it's possible where you live.
Does the law apply to all types of vaping devices?
The specific laws regulating vaping devices can vary by jurisdiction, so it's essential to check the regulations in your location. In many places, laws governing vaping devices cover a broad range of products, including e-cigarettes, vape pens, pod systems, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). These laws often address aspects such as sales, marketing, age restrictions, and public usage. Some jurisdictions also regulate the sale of specific products, such as flavored e-liquids. It's crucial to stay informed about local and regional regulations to ensure compliance with the law.
What is the ID verification process for buying vape products in California?
As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, California has implemented stringent age verification requirements for purchasing vape products. The specific process may vary depending on the retailer and the online platform. However, many reputable sellers follow strict age verification procedures, including:
Online Age Verification: When making a purchase online, customers are typically required to provide their date of birth and other personal information during the checkout process.
Third-Party Verification Services: Some retailers use third-party age verification services to confirm the customer's age against public records.
Upload of Identification Documents: In some cases, customers may be asked to upload a photo of a government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport, to prove their age.
In-Person Verification: For in-person purchases, customers may need to present a valid ID at the point of sale to confirm their age.
Where to find a trusted vape store that complies with California's legal vaping age?
For those who are looking to buy from legitimate online retailers that comply with California's legal vaping age, you needn't look any further than TheSmokyBox.
It's important that you're choosing a reputable and legitimate online store that age-checks its users before coming onto the site. TheSmokyBox offers a wide range of vape devices from a variety of high-quality, notable brands within the vape market.
Whether you're new to vaping or you've been looking for a good online resource for all things vaping, TheSmokyBox offers all this and more. You'll find a wealth of vape flavors and devices that satisfy every user regardless of how much or how little they like to vape.
TheSmokyBox offers a membership opportunity for all its shoppers online, which gives 15% off your first order plus free deliveries for orders over $50 in the US. So if you're looking for a trusted source for all things vaping, you'll love shopping on our site.
What is the legal vaping age in California FAQs
Are there exceptions to the legal vaping age in California?
The only exception to the legal vaping age in California is for military personnel. In order for military personnel to buy vaping products or tobacco products in general, they need to be at least 18 years old.
Can parents provide consent for their child to vape under the legal age in California?
As it's illegal for the sale or distribution of vaping products under the legal age of 21, consent from parents wouldn't make a difference. They'd still be breaking the law and would face fines, as well.