Vaping has been on the rise for many years in the UK, but there may be some uncertainty about what age you need to be to do so legally.

E-cigarettes, or vapes, are considered to have fewer harmful health effects in comparison to smoking regular cigarettes.

Worries have been raised over their addictiveness though, and how some fruit-flavoured ones may appeal to younger children.

Government research has said vaping prevalence among young people (aged 11-18) is 8.6% which is a rise from 4% in 2020.

And the Government is bringing forward plans to ban disposable vapes from the shelves.

Warrington Guardian: The Government are considering banning fruit-flavoured vapesThe Government are considering banning fruit-flavoured vapes (Image: PA)

How old do you need to be to vape in the UK?

At the moment the laws around vaping is similar to smoking, as you need to be 18 to purchase and use one.

Additionally, vape cartridges must not hold more than two millilitres of liquid or contain more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre.

There is no agreed-upon evidence that using e-cigarettes causes cancer, but the practice is not risk-free.

Are there side effects to vaping? 

Cancer Research UK says: "They can cause side effects such as throat and mouth irritation, headache, cough and feeling sick.

"These side effects tend to reduce over time with continued use. We don’t know yet what effects they might have in the long term."

Furthermore, they recommend not using vapes unless they are being used to help you stop smoking or go back to tobacco.

This is because most vapes contain nicotine which is a highly addictive substance.


Disposable vapes to be banned in the UK under new legislation

They add: "If you have never smoked, you shouldn’t use e-cigarettes."

In July 2023 the British Medical Association (BMA) was urged to explore the dangers of vaping, as well as calling for plain packaging on e-cigarettes in line with tobacco and cigarettes.

The motion, which members approved, also urged a ban on flavoured vapes and said more should be done about products being sold to under 18s illegally.