E-cigarette laws just a smokescreen? Teens easily work around bans by buying e-cigarettes online

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March 4, 2015
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Although e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are relatively new to the marketplace, popularity of e-cigarettes has quickly grown among adults and teens. But while 41 states prohibit e-cigarette sales to minors, many teens can easily buy e-cigarettes online according to a study published this week in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill supervised teenagers who attempted to purchase e-cigarettes online from 98 different vendors. Only five vendors rejected teens’ purchase attempts because of age verification. Some orders failed because of website errors, but minors were able to successfully receive deliveries of e-cigarettes for 77% of their attempted purchases. Delivery companies made no attempt to verify the recipients’ age upon delivery and 95% of packages were simply left at the door. Read more: U.S. Minors Easily Buy e-Cigarettes Online.

Adults in the National Poll on Children’s Health have expressed concern about teens using e-cigarettes. In a 2013 NPCH Report, 44% of adults said they think e-cigarettes will encourage kids to use tobacco products and nearly half of parents expressed concern about their own children trying e-cigarettes. 86% of adults said sales of e-cigarettes to minors should be prohibited. Read the full report: Adults worry e-cigarettes will encourage kids to start smoking tobacco.

Public support for ecigarette laws
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What do you think?
Should websites and delivery companies be required to verify the ages of people buying e-cigarettes online? Share your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter @MottNPCH.

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