Vaping Regulations Changed


The legal age is now 21 years old to purchase tobacco products, such as the e-cigarette pictured. (Getty Images)

Vivian Tran, News Reporter

It’s official, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products has been raised from 18 to 21. Talk of pushing back the legal age has been going on for some time now, but on December 20, 2019, President Donald Trump signed the $1.4 trillion dollar spending package. This new age limit applies to the purchase of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. 

The issues, which have risen from the usage of e-cigarettes, have rapidly escalated over the past few years, as their popularity has dramatically expanded. The United States currently holds the largest market for e-cigarettes at an estimated $7 million dollars. 

A variety of e-cigarettes are displayed, which, prior to the restriction were much more accessible. (Craig Mitchelldyer/AP Photo)

The recent age restriction has received mixed reactions, with some believing that at 18 years old, one is mature enough to use tobacco if they so choose to, while others side with the new law due to the health concerns surrounding it.

Junior, Griffin Muzylowski, agrees with the latter. “I think that vaping is as bad if not worse than cigarettes. There’s a lot of side effects that people don’t know about,” Muzylowski  said, adding that big tobacco companies have made vaping seem “cool in the eyes of teenagers.”

Senior, Meron Siyoum, shares a similar viewpoint, saying that she’s glad the age was raised and people need to be older to use tobacco products. “I wanna say that people are gonna be more mature about it… People think it’s cool but it’s not,” adding that she hopes the new restriction actually works and makes a difference.

There have been questions surrounding the effectiveness of the new law, considering that an estimated 5.3 million teens use e-cigarettes, according to National Public Radio.

“What’s a kid gonna do if you say they can’t do it?” asks Rena Nagovan, an English 10 teacher, saying that behavior modifications and education are better than age restrictions. 

 She disagrees with the age increase, saying that if an 18 year old is old enough to vote and fight for our country, then they’re old enough to vape if they make that decision to. She added, “In reality, they’re just infantilizing young adults to be children for longer.”

A Juul and a Sourin are held, two widely popular vape companies.

When asked about the new age raise, an anonymous sophomore who vapes answered with, “I think it makes perfect sense,” saying that it has the honest potential to decrease the rates of people who vape, yet won’t affect everyone, “but not including me, I could just get one from someone who’s 21,” they stated. 

In regards to the students who vape at Rangeview and whether that demographic would be affected by the age restriction, the sophomore says, “No, not at all,”

Although the true effectiveness and impact of the recent restriction still remains a question to some, the law still stands with the FDA stating it is illegal for retailers to sell any tobacco product to those under the age of 21.