One of the latest controversies in the vaping community is over the accessibility that teens have to e-cigs by ordering the smokeless devices online. According to USA Today, a recent study has shown that teens were able to purchase e-cigs online 94% of the time.
After obtaining permission (and credit cards) from parents and law enforcement, researchers followed 11 teenagers age 14 to 17 who were told to buy e-cigs online. Out of 98 attempts to make a purchase, online vendors only blocked five teens. In a majority of the cases, the teens were able to order e-cigs and have them delivered to their doorstep with no questions or signatures requested.
This study was conducted specifically to see how North Carolina was able to enforce a law enacted in 2013 which states that a retailer must verify a customer’s age against a government database before allowing the purchase. Shipping e-cigs to minors is considered a class 2 misdemeanor in this state.
Dr. Rebecca Williams, a research associate at the School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, was the lead author. She remarked that “…it is easier for many teens to buy e-cigarettes online than in a corner store, where they might be faced with a request for an ID.”
Here’s what the authors of the study concluded:
In the absence of federal regulation, youth e-cigarette use has increased and e-cigarette sellers online operate in a regulatory vacuum, using few, if any, efforts to prevent sales to minors. Even in the face of state laws like North Carolina’s requiring age verification, most vendors continue to fail to even attempt to verify age in accordance with the law, underscoring the need for careful enforcement.
The EverSmoke team would like everyone to know that we are vigilant in refusing to sell our products to minors, nor do we market them to this age group. We believe our e-cigs are fantastically flavorful smoking alternatives—and for adults only.
For more information regarding local and national e-cig regulation and laws, visit our knowledge center.