Can Minors Buy Vape?
Vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking but also an individual subculture with its own special features. At what age can people join it and buy their own vaping devices?
What is the minimum age for buying vapes?
Russia still does not have the statutory regulation concerning sales of vaping devices among minors. However, it is referred only to mech mods, box mods, and other advanced gadgets, as e-cigs and one-off devices simulating common smoking are not sold to persons under 18. This rule is regulated by the anti-tobacco law of Russia. The same goes for nicotine e-liquids: to purchase them, you should show a passport confirming the majority age.
Box mods and nicotine-free e-juices are not restricted in terms of sales: even younger schoolchildren can theoretically buy them. In practice, similar things are regulated in many regions by the local authorities as well as by vape shop owners and staff. The majority of stores refuse to sell vapes and e-liquids (even nicotine-free ones) to teenagers.
The bill prescribing the minimum age for buying electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices was introduced in 2017. However, it failed to advance.
Impact of vaping on adolescent bodies
A human body is forming until the age of majority: the immune system and organs change, hormones fluctuate. Such harmful substances as ethyl alcohol or nicotine can affect the development, disturb natural processes, and cause health problems in the future. Therefore, sales of alcohol and cigarettes to minors are strictly prohibited. This is also explained by the fact that teenagers and kids are more vulnerable to addiction.
The impact of vaping on the body is assessed ambiguously despite its relative safety in comparison with tobacco smoking. Besides, nicotine-free e-liquids that do not result in physical addiction have their own peculiar chemical composition. It includes glycerin and propylene glycol, which impact on the body is not entirely explored.
Thus, vaping is not recommended for minors, as its total safety requires additional research and checkups. One of the reasons why teenagers should not use vapes is their financial insolvency. Frequently, adolescents do not have much money and cannot afford high-end e-cigs, and it is quite risky to use shady devices.
Vaping for teenagers: an issue of ethics
Selling vape devices and electronic cigarettes to individuals under 18 is not prohibited by law. Nevertheless, this kind of activity is discouraged by society and violates ethical standards because of leading to addiction among young people. Few parents will easily take the news that their child starts vaping regardless of its relative harmlessness.
Vaping is dangerous for teenagers due to the following reasons:
they can fail to realize all the risks because of the age and lack of experience;
the impact of e-liquid content is not studied comprehensively;
children can accidentally or deliberately taste addictive nicotine e-juices;
not all devices are high-quality and totally safe (there are counterfeit products);
potential psychological vaping addiction.
At the same time, vaping is a gentle alternative to smoking, which teenagers tend to in order to seem mature. A lot of adult people use vaping as a way to give up smoking and get rid of tobacco addiction.
Meanwhile, vaping has long turned into an individual subculture with its rules, vocabulary, and trends. The movement also allures adolescents who can be pretty sensitive and can vape joining the crowd or following the fashion craze. Adults should inform kids of vaping pros and cons, while vape shop owners and staff should take a conscious approach to sales of devices and e-liquids.
The Russian legislation is not perfect: it still does not regulate the status of vaping and e-cigs. Unlike tobacco devices that are not allowed for sales to minors, there is no direct ban on vapes.
It means that almost all schoolchildren can buy a vaping device or nicotine-free e-juice at a special store. However, vaping can be dangerous for the growing body: it attacks the lungs and can affect health in the future.
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