TEEN HEALTH Published March5, 2015 By Staff Writer

Teens Easily Buy E-Cigarettes Online, New Study Finds

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(Photo : Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News)

Teenagers and minors can easily acquire e-cigarettes online even if it has been banned in 41 states, new study says. The study found out that teens were able to buy e-cigarettes in 94% of attempts as reported in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

In the study, they were able to investigate the compliance with North Carolina electronic cigarette age-verification law. Apparently, they learned that minors are easily able to purchase electronic cigarettes from retailers through the internet.

They also found out that the online retailers only rejected five out of 98 attempted purchases because of the age of the clients. They monitored 11 minor participants and only five attempts were blocked by parental control settings. Furthermore, they were not asked of age proof when the packages were delivered to them. Around 95% of orders were left at the doorsteps, as reported by Immortal.org.

The writers wrote in the study, "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 researchers also had a previous study showing that minors can easily order alcohol online as well. According to the report, the parents of the teens had given their consent for them to participate in the study and used their credit cards to buy e-cigarettes online.

The sales of these e-cigarettes rocketed high in the past few years after it entered the United States in 2007. However, by 2013, it had become a $2 billion industry each year. By 2017, they predicted that it can amount to $10 billion-a-year.

E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes and vaporizer cigarettes, are devices that emit doses of vaporized nicotine which are inhaled. They manufactured this to help smokers quit and avoid smokers to inhale the smoke from tobacco.

The study was pioneered by Rebecca S. Williams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues. As a result of the study, they concluded that none of the online e-cigarette vendors complied with North Carolina's e-cigarette age-verification law. Teens are capable of ordering many banned things online, which is now a great public concern.

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