Can I Vape at 16 ?

by Jemma Wolfe

By Jemma Wolfe
Published: 13-03-23

What is the Legal Age for Vaping in the UK?
What is the Legal Age for Vaping in the UK?

What is the Legal Age for Vaping in the UK?

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • How Old do You have to be to Buy a Vape?
  • Why is there a Vaping Age Limit?
  • Approving Safe Vaping Ingredients
  • Age Verification
  • Can I Vape at 16?
  • What is the point of vaping?
  • The risks of nicotine addiction
  • Can a 16 Year Old Vape without Nicotine?
  • What Age Can I Start Vaping?
  • Vape Safely with myCigara

As vaping becomes more and more widespread across the UK, there has also been more and more confusion about some of the basic facts surrounding vaping. As part of our ongoing mission to provide readers with the best possible guidance on vaping, we thought it would be worth revisiting a crucial question: what is the legal age for vaping in the UK?

There may be some confusion floating around in the wider world about the vaping age limit. We can understand why people may be confused or concerned. At the same time, we think it is—and should be—pretty straightforward.

As such, this blog will walk you through some of the key points and big questions surrounding the legal vaping age: How old do you have to be to buy a vape? Can I vape at 16? Can a 16 year old vape without nicotine? And what age can I start vaping?

To answer these questions, our blog will take you through the most important rules and regulations, and the reasoning behind them.

How Old do You have to be to Buy a Vape?

How Old do You have to be to Buy a Vape?

In the UK, the legal age limit to buy a vape is eighteen years old. There’s no real elucidation to add on here; it’s not a case of different rules for different types of vape kits or for certain e liquids. There is just the one single, straightforward, hard and fast rule: you cannot legally buy a vape under the age of eighteen.

You maybe thinking “okay, fine, that’s the supposed rule. But what does it actually matter if I don’t stick to it? As long as I don’t get caught, surely that’s fine?” The fact is that while, yes, many of the regulations in place protect businesses and companies,at the end of the day it’s all really there to protect the consumer.

Why is there a Vaping Age Limit?

The vaping industry, as it grows and evolves, is becoming more and more regulated. As a reputable e-cigarette retailer and etailer, we here at myCigara know that that can only be a good thing.

Clearer and more centralised regulations on the manufacturing of vape kits and e liquids guarantee a safer, more reliable vaping experience. Tighter checks surrounding the sale of all vape products, meanwhile, have precisely the intended effect: they keep manufacturers, retailers, and customers protected, safe, and satisfied.

Approving Safe Vaping Ingredients

Approving Safe Vaping Ingredients

Regarding safe manufacturing processes, all vaping products sold in the UK have to first be approved by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, or simply the MHRA as they’re commonly called.

The MHRA approves any and all ingredients that appear in e liquid and disposable vapes as legally sold in the UK. Their handy ecig checker means you make sure you’re using genuine, safe, approved products.

Age Verification

Here at myCigara, we use age verification both online and in-store to make sure that no one under the age of 18 is getting their hands on any vaping products.

For online purchases, we use the 1account platform to verify your age. The good news is that if you’re shopping with us as a registered customer, this is aone-time check; you won’t have to keep doing it after your first purchase.

In-store, our staff operate according to the ‘Challenge 25’ policy; that is, if they think you look younger than 25, you will be asked to produce identification to prove your age.

As with any age verification process, the vendor is liable for breaching the laws and regulations of a given sales contract. Essentially this means that the seller is at risk of being fined, and at worst can have their sales licence revoked entirely.

That is part of the reason why there is such strict regulation around the vaping age limit; vendors have a dual responsibility to operate in a safe, reputable manner to protect both their customers and their own business—which, when you think about it, are two sides of the same coin.

Can I Vape at 16?

Can I Vape at 16?

There is a legal age for vaping in the UK; you have to be eighteen years old to vape in the UK. Some readers may nonetheless be thinking that that’s more of an answer to a different question regarding the legal age limit.

In the same way that the previous section of this guide looked at why certain rules and restrictions are in place around vaping, in order to answer the question posed here we need to think more broadly about why vaping is even a thing.

What is the point of vaping?

E-cigarettes were first invented for one simple reason: as an alternative to traditional smoking, an alternative with a clear purpose; to help people quit smoking. That is why vaping exists, and that is the reason reputable retailers such as ourselves continue to market and sell vaping products.

So what does this have to do with vaping at sixteen years of age? Quite simply, the only reason to be vaping in the first place is because you’re trying to kick a nasty addiction; you are trying to quit smoking. In most realistic scenarios, people aren’t already seriously addicted to smoking by the time they’re sixteen. Vapes were designed for people who hadn’t otherwise managed to get off cigarettes; we seriously doubt underage vape users fit this category.

The risks of nicotine addiction

The risks of nicotine addiction

This brings us to the crux of the matter; addiction to smoking is essentially an addiction to nicotine. Although we often explain in our blog content that nicotine itself is one of the less harmful components of smoking, it absolutely cannot be understated how extremely addictive nicotine is.

What’s more, the issue with nicotine addiction is what’s known as “diminishing returns” —that is, the more of ityou use, the less of an effect it has. At the same time, the cravings become stronger. Eventually, with nicotine addiction, the only sensation you experience is just a general relief of giving in to your physical and psychological desire for nicotine. You feel good only because the craving has felt so bad beforehand.

In addition to this, nicotine actually poses significant risk for underage users. Because your brain doesn’t finish fully developing until you’re around 25 years old, you can cause some longer-term issues by exposing your still-developing brain to nicotine. In short, you risk negatively altering the neural pathways that pertain to your attention, learning capabilities, mood, and impulse control.

In short, nicotine use is not worth it. Not only is it likely to have negative long term consequences for the adolescent brain, but it’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of nicotine addiction. If you’re unlucky, this addiction will stay with you for life, and can in fact be an addiction that ends up shortening your life.

Can a 16 Year Old Vape without Nicotine?

Can a 16 Year Old Vape without Nicotine?

Following on from that, some readers may be thinking that the issue is simply with nicotine itself. After all, nicotine-free e liquid does exist; there are even some nicotine-free disposable vapes. In answering this hypothetical question —can a 16 year old vape without nicotine? — let’s review two of the key points covered in this blog.

Firstly, the legal age limit on vaping still applies, even for nicotine-free vaping products. Nicotine or no, you cannot buy any vape kitsor e liquid under the age of eighteen, full stop.

Secondly, as mentioned, the entire point of vaping is to help people quit smoking. The reason that nicotine-free e liquid exists is for people who are still psychologically addicted to vaping, even after they’ve managed to taper off their nicotine addiction to basically nothing.

As we discussed above regarding nicotine addiction: why bother? If you’re not already a smoker who’s trying to quit or cut down on nicotine, there is no reason to be vaping, regardless of whether or not it’s a nicotine-free vape.

What Age Can I Start Vaping?

What Age Can I Start Vaping?

The final question we want to tackle, then, isfor those who want to know when they can get started, those asking, at what age can I start vaping?

The quick answer, from the straightforward legal, rule-bound side of the argument, is, once again: you must be at least eighteen years old to purchase anyvaping products. This includes all types of vape kits, disposables as well, and all e liquid, even nicotine-free e liquid.

Just as importantly though, there’s a broader argument in answer to this question. We would really hope that if you’ve read through this blog and reached this section, you’re no longer asking whether you can vape. Vaping isn’t some exciting hobby or fun activity where you’re counting down the days, months, and years until you can get started.

Vaping is absolutely a useful tool, yes, but it has a specific purpose and function, and is aimed at a specific audience. We will always recommend it to help smokers quit smoking, but we will also never recommend it to non-smokers.

As we’ve explained, vaping exists solely to help existing cigarette and nicotine addicts finally give up this habit. We really cannot stress enough: if you’re not already trying to break a smoking and nicotine addiction, then there is absolutely zero reason to begin vaping.

Vaping is a useful way to help people live a smoke-free life. However, if you’re already smoke-free, you don’t need vaping

Vape Safely with myCigara

At myCigara, we exist to make the UK smoke-free. We firmly believe that vaping is a great way to help people quit smoking for good. That’s why we aim to offer some of the best vaping content on the web, and—through extensive product education—help to guide people toward a life free from smoking.

We know that vaping can seem overwhelming at first and, unfortunately, that’s why many people don’t stick with it and end up going back to smoking. Our goal as a company is to ensure that all of our customers have the best possible initial experience with vaping, that way people are more likely to stick with and successfully quit smoking.

If you’ve landed on this page and need to pick things up from the beginning, we recommend starting out at our beginner’s landing page, new to vaping. This will give you all the key info to get started and point you in the right direction for our various guides and blogs.

Beyond that, you can always get in touch with us directly with any question. On the other hand, if you prefer a little facetime, then head into your nearest myCigara vape shop, where our expert store staff are waiting to help you quit smoking today!

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