Parents should be concerned more than ever, if the findings of a recent study carried out by the National Cancer Institute in North Carolina for the consumption of E-cigarette by minors is anything to go by. The study shows that US teens could enjoy a success rate of as high as 90% on the purchase of electronic cigarettes from online vendors.
The news does not come as a surprise as another study by the University of Michigan in 2014 revealed that 17.1% of the 12thgraders had reported to using E-cigarette. One million kids were reported to buying tobacco online in 2012 a clear indication of how the vice has been growing.
The revelations were made even as the sale of electronic cigarettes remains prohibited under the law in most of the states. A number of teenagers were recruited in the study and asked to purchase E-cigarette from 98 online retailers where most of the transactions went through, despite the buyers being minors. 75 of the 98 orders went through with 18 of them only falling through because of web related problems or technical challenges.
Only five of the transactions were blocked because of failing the age verification test that essentially translates to a 93.7% success rate in the purchase of E-cigarette regardless of age. Most of the transactions went through because most of the traders have weak verification systems that can be thwarted by the typing of false information such as year of birth.
None of the teens who purchased the cigarettes were asked to furnish proof their age upon delivery with most of the deliveries being left on the doorstep without any attempts to ascertain the user.
A point of concern for many parents should be the fact that there is no federal regulation in the U.S. intended to curb the sale of E-cigarette to minors even though 41 of the states ban purchases by underage persons.
However, there are efforts being spearheaded by the Food and Drug Administration in a new legislation intended to make E-cigarette fall under the same category as regular tobacco distribution. A move intended to bar its sell to minors.