Vaping in the United States

There are a variety of rules and regulations of e-cigarettes and vapes that exist depending on each state in the United States.

Encyclopedia Britannica reports that e-cigarettes first made their debut in 2003. The devices were developed in the case to provide a substitute for cigarettes, with the main difference being that e-cigarettes are electric, thus do not require a lighter or matches to ignite.

A pharmacist in Beijing, China, is responsible for bringing the idea of vaping to fruition after decades of trial and error from other individuals. It was not until 2006 that it was brought to the United States, in which the trend began to gain extreme popularity. It continues in 2023 to be an issue, especially within the youth population.

Overview of Vaping in the United States

Vaping is viewed as a ‘safer’ alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, but that does not mean it comes with many positive benefits. Vapes and e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and linked to health consequences, including cancer, heart issues, dental problems, and other issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 2.55 million students used e-cigarettes in 2022. As 2023 progresses, new data will arise, and hopefully there will be a decrease in youth vaping due to the efforts of deterring it in schools and campuses.


The CDC’s STATE System, which stands for State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, reports on a variety of regulations regarding smoking and e-cigarettes. The majority of states deemed 21 years old as the legal age to purchase e-cigarettes, however, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are among the states that have a lower age limit of at least 18 years old. Additional U.S. territories, including Marshall Islands and American Samoa, do not have an age requirement for e-cigarette purchase.

Now, let’s take a look at different parts of the nation and view the popularity of vaping in specific states.

Vaping Regulations by State

New York

Since 2020, New York has banned flavored vape devices from being sold. This action was an effort to reduce the number of adolescent vapers in the state. However, New York is not stopping there – officials are now advocating for a ban on all flavored tobacco products, not just e-cigarettes.  This may encourage users of both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products to quit.

The percentage of e-cigarette use in New Yorkers rose from 3.8% in 2017 to 5.3% in 2021, showing a 1.5% increase.


The state with one of the highest percentages of adults using e-cigarettes is Kentucky. Data shows that in 2021, 9.3% of Kentucky citizens vaped. That is 2.6% above the U.S. national percentage of 6.7%.

Kentucky enforces similar rules and regulations as other states, including the fact that individuals must be 21 years of age in order to purchase and/or use e-cigarette devices. Other legislation suggests that individual vapor cartridges are taxed at a rate of $1.50 each, similar to how traditional cigarette sales are taxed.

Community Action

Youth vaping is an ongoing issue across the country, with some labeling it as an epidemic. Advocates and officials in communities and schools are working to diminish vaping in school bathrooms, locker rooms, recreation centers, and public spaces. An effective method to achieve this is installing vape detectors. Vape detector devices have risen in popularity as more and more organizations notice the lack of control there is over the teen vaping situation.

The device detects vape, nicotine, THC, and noise levels in the air and sends an immediate notification personnel for intervention. Deter vape in your school or organization with the ICAS Vape Detection Solution.

The Bottom Line

Vaping and the use of e-cigarettes around the nation has been a persistent issue. Advocates against vaping in the U.S., especially for the youth, work to minimize usage as much as possible through educating the public of its effects and campaigning through organizations. If you want to know more about the rules, regulations, and statistics of vaping in other countries, click here.