Young people and vaping
Nicotine vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking – however, it is not risk-free. Vaping is not for children and young people, whose developing lungs and brains are more sensitive to its effects.
That's why there's a minimum age of sale for vaping products in the UK. It is illegal to sell nicotine vaping products to anyone under 18 or for adults to buy them on behalf of under-18s.
If you find a retailer selling either nicotine vapes or tobacco products to under-18s, you can report a retailer to local authority Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice online portal.
Talking to young people about vaping
It's important for young people to know the facts about vaping so they can make an informed choice. Young people can find out more on the FRANK website.
Parents, carers and anyone working with children can make sure young people understand the health facts about vaping and know about vaping and the law.
Facts to tell young people about vaping:
- Vaping is a way for adults to stop smoking – not something for non-smokers, especially children and young people to try.
- Vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking but that does not mean it is harmless.
- Vaping exposes users to some toxins, and we do not yet know what the risks might be in the longer term.
- Most vapes contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance that can be hard to stop using once you have started.
- Nicotine is more risky for young people than for adults, as evidence suggests the developing brain is more sensitive to its addictive effects.
- In the UK, it is against the law to sell nicotine vaping products to under-18s or for adults to buy them on their behalf.
- Some disposable vapes on sale are illegal and do not meet UK safety regulations. They can contain high levels of harmful substances.