FDA Officially Regulates E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco, Banning Sales to People Under 18

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Sorry, teens.

The Food and Drug Administration is banning sales and use of electronic cigarettes to people under 18, the same way it already regulates traditional nicotine products. The rule is intended to subvert a troubling statistic when it comes to smoking: While overall tobacco use is way down, the number of high schoolers vaping has doubled in recent years.

“Today’s announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “It will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids and give adults information they need to make informed decisions.”

The rule comes just a day after California signed sweeping statewide legislation banning vaping in public areas and restricting e-cig sales to 21 and up (and raising the regular-cig smoking age to 21 as well). This follows other laws in cities like San Francisco passed earlier this year.


The FDA is also adding a clause for manufactures to prove their products meet public health standards. Anything on the market today will be required to undergo a review process which could take up to two years. This also means that vaping accessories will be subject to the same types of packaging and marketing restrictions that cigarettes currently face so they’re not appealing to kids. So say goodbye to whatever the Joe Cool of vaping is. Oh yeah, it’s Unicorn Puke.


Alissa is the former urbanism editor at Gizmodo.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`



Every store I know of already has enforced this since they opened....what’s new here? Seriously asking....On anoither note Vaping allowed me to quit cold turkey from actual cigarettes which I feel is a bonus overall but I also see the FDA stance on it since we don’t “REALLY” know ALL of the ingredients but what about the no-nicotine ejuices? My nephew of 17 who has never smoked and is a very straight laced kid wanted one with no-nicotine. My brother said no way, not happening but that’s the stance of many people is the nicotine or no nicotine argument over the age limit.