Due to the failure of most e-cig websites to verify the age of clients, teens are making successful purchases online, according to a study conducted by North Carolina researchers.
In an earlier report by Time, the researchers asked teens aged 14 to 17 who are not smokers to try buying from popular online vendors selling the product. Although selling e-cigarettes to minor is illegal in some states in the US, the teens were able to make a purchase successfully.
Out of the 98 orders, only five were rejected because of age-related reasons and 18 for website problems. Seventy-five of the orders pushed through. The flaw lies behind the online vendors' lack of an age verification system.
According to the authors, the results are a great concern for states that are proposing regulations on youth access. There is no law that prohibits the sale of the products to minors as of yet, despite its addictive nicotine content.
The US Food and Drug Administration has actually proposed to place e-cigarettes under the regular tobacco policy jurisdiction in 2014; however, the proposal has not been implemented yet. In an effort to step in, 41 states have banned the sale of e-cigs to minors just within the borders.
The findings of the study suggests that minors can easily get e-cigarettes online. Rebeccas S. Williams, study author and health researcher at the University of North Carolina, states that vendors have less motivation in decreasing their profits due to the lack of strictly enforced federal law.
With FDA's proposal still on its way, researchers say the case requires urgency since it is the children's safety that is at stake here.