According to a new study teens can easily get their hand on e-cigarettes online even though sales of e-cigarettes are banned for minors in 41 states.
The study revealed that teens were successful to buy e-cigarettes in 94% of attempts. Details of the study were published today in JAMA Pediatrics.
.The study revealed that internet retailers rejected only 5 out of 98 attempted purchases of e-cigarettes because of age. The study involved 11 teen participants who were closely supervised and the study revealed that five attempts were blocked by parental control settings on the computer.
The study revealed that none of the teens were asked to furnish proof of age when the packages were delivered. In fact 95% of the orders were left at the doorsteps without any attempt being made to ascertain if the user is above the specified age limit to use e-cigarettes.
The researchers whose previous studies involved revealing how teens can order alcohol online was quick to reassure that every effort was made to ensure that the study did not encourage the teens to break the law.
Prior consent was obtained from the parents for allowing their kids to join the study and use their credit cards for e-cigarette purchases. The researchers also obtained clearance from the local enforcement authorities to conduct the study.
According to American Lung Association’s Erika Sward, kids today have greater access to credit cards than people can realize and kids regularly use family credit cards to buy music, games and apps online.
Earlier studies had revealed that teens could easily buy conventional cigarettes online. 1 million kids have been reported buying tobacco online in 2012.The FDA has proposed regulation for e-cigarettes including a ban of its sales to minors; it is still to finalize these rules and the proposed rules does not ban online sales of these cigarettes.
E-Cigarettes were introduced as a less harmful variant of conventional smoking. It was touted as tool which helps to kick off the habit of smoking. However recent studies have revealed a worrying trend of increased use of e-cigarettes among teens.